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Nyame to Remain in Prison as Court Rejects Bail Application

An FCT High Court in Gudu has rejected an application for bail made by convicted former governor of Taraba State, Rev. Jolly Nyame, Daily Trust reports.

Nyame, who was convicted and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for fraud, approached the same court yesterday with the bail application on the basis of ill-health.

He said he needed the bail in order to have access to his traditional herbal medicine, which he said he used to treat hypertension and diabetes before his conviction on May 30, 2018.

While Nyame himself was not brought to the court by prisons officials, a handful of his supporters were present during the proceedings.

Arguing his case before the court, his lawyer, Olalekan Ojo said Nyame had been living with the health conditions for 10 years. He referred the court to a June 19, 2018 medical report issued by a hospital in Jalingo, Taraba State, suggesting that the convict could die if not released from prison.

He said his client had sought permission from the prison authorities in Kuje, Abuja, to be allowed to be given herbal medicine, but the request was rebuffed.

“The prison authorities did not allow his people to give him the herbal medicine. Whatever that must have been responsible for the prison authorities’ decision whether right or wrong; the point is that he has not been allowed,” he said.

Ojo told the court that ill health and the need to access herbal medicine had been recognised as constituting “special and exceptional circumstances” that could warrant granting bail after conviction under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).

However, in his response, EFCC’s lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) urged the court to dismiss the application. He told the court that the convict failed to support his request with any material evidence other than the purported medical report, adding that “mere medical allegation will not be sufficient to grant bail after conviction.”

He said Nyame, as a convict, had lost the right of medical facility of his choice but the one provided him by the prison. “The health ground will be an exceptional circumstance if the prison authorities say they are unable to provide the medical need of the convict,” he said.

“The second issue is that there must be a medical report by a medical practitioner who specialises in the area of medicine that concerns the ailment of the convict. Has the medical report been provided? There is no such report by a medical practitioner that specialises in hypertension and diabetes,” Jacobs added.

In her ruling, the trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, held that bail was never granted to a convict as a matter of right but only under “exceptional circumstances,” which could include ill health.

She however noted that though Nyame’s application was anchored on the grounds of ill health, there were no credible materials provided by the convict and placed before the court to warrant granting him bail.

Nyame has filed a notice of appeal against the court’s May 30 judgment, but the court records were yet to be transmitted to the Appeal Court which would be followed with Nyame’s statements of appeal upon which the prosecution can file its reply. Hence, a date is yet to be fixed for the appeal.

Nyame is also expected to appeal the ruling of the court on his post-conviction bail application.


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Copyright 2018 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to and other relevant sources.

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