ByÂ AbdulwahabÂ Abdulah
Justice Joseph Oyewole of an Ikeja High Court yesterday fixed hearing on the Motion for Bail pending appeal filed by the former Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Chief Olabode George and five others till November 9, 2009. The adjournment by the court confirmed the prediction by SaturdayÂ Vanguard yesterday that the former PDP chieftain will spend this weekend in jail.
Chief George, alongside Arc. Aminu Dabo, Captain OlusegunÂ Abidoye, Alhaji Abdullahi Aminu Tafida, Alhaji Zanna Maidaribe and Alhaji Sule Aliyu are currently serving two and half years jail terms in Kirikiri Maximum prison.
They were last Monday jailed for fraud committed at the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.
All of them filed Motion on Notice dated October 28, 2009Â for accelerated hearing of the matter, â€œbrought pursuant to Section 10 and 51 of the High Court of Lagos State Law 2003 and under the inherent jurisdiction of this honorable courtâ€.
The applicants have in their motion prayed the court for an order granting them bail pending the determination of their appeal at the Appeal Court against their conviction and sentence.
In their individual affidavits in support of their motion, they averred that it takes the better part ofÂ the year to get records of appeal in a matter of this magnitude compiled and transmittedÂ to the court of appeal.
They added that going by the congestion at the appellate court, â€œby the time the appeal would have been determined by the Court of Appeal, the applicants wouldÂ have finished serving their terms of imprisonment, thus rendering their appeal, whatever the outcome nugatory.â€
When the matter was mentioned, the counsel, who defended the applicants during trials told Justice Oyewole that they have served the respondent, the EFCC.
Mr Festus Keyamo, counsel for the EFCC also admitted receiving the Motions from all the applicants at different times. He however demanded three days each to respond to the six applications, but was overruled by the court.
Explaining his position, Keyamo said that he got Georgeâ€™s applications on Wednesday and the last filling on Thursday night, requesting for time to respond.
Justice Oyewole consequently urged all the parties to exchange all necessary documents within a week.
To this end, the court fixed the hearing of the motion tillÂ Monday, November 9.