BY GBENGA OLARINOYE
OSOGBO—After spending about four months at the Ilesa prison for allegedly raping a 26 year old corp member, Miss Helen Okpara, an Osun state High Court sitting in Osogbo, Wednesday granted bail to the Alowa of Ilowa in Obokun Local Government Area of the state, Oba Adebukola Alli.
The court presided over by Justice Oyejide Falola however declared that the bail may be revoked and the accused person given bench warrant should the accused monarch fails to show up in court when ever his attention is needed.
Oba Alli had since March 25 this year been standing trial over allegation of rape of a corps member who served in his domain.
The case was in August transferred to the High Court from the Chief Magistrate Court after the Magistrate had on July 1 granted bail to the accused monarch but eventually denied the bail.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, counsel to the accused Mr. Tawfeek Tewogbade told the court that the health of his client who was brought to the court by the ambulance of Ilesa prison had seriously deteriorated as a result of the strike embarked upon by medical officers in the state owned hospitals who were attending to him and pleaded the court to grant the accused bail on health ground.
Mr Tewogbade who urged the court to temper justice with mercy and consider the health of his client as a paramount thing in the case, said his client should be presumed innocent of the allegation leveled against him until otherwise proved.
According to Tewogbade who called the attention of the court to the position of his client who was laid on a stretcher throughout the court proceedings, “medical officers in the employment of the state government who were taking care of the health of my client had for some months now been on strike and this has adversely affected the health of my client, it is on this note that I plead that the court should grant him bail and allow him access to private physicians of his choice.”
The state Counsel who expressed fear that the accused could jump bail if granted also agreed that the health of the accused has grossly deteriorated.
Ruling on the bail application, the trial Judge, Oyejide Falola granted the accused bail for N200,000 with two sureties who are residents of the state with tax clearance and two passport photographs.
Justice Falola who noted that it was only the living that could be prosecuted, stressed that the need to grant the accused bail became imperative considering his deteriorated health condition.
He also ruled that the accused should have access to his personal physician but should not travel outside the country without an approval of the Registrar of the state High Court, stating reasons why such journey should be made.