By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
A mild drama ensued at the Federal High Court Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, when Justice Inyang Ekwo granted bail to the former Chairman of Adavi Local Government Area of the state, Enesi Jimoh, who had earlier been convicted and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment without an option of fine by the same judge.
Jimoh who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC was found guilty by Justice Ekwo on November 13, 2013 of converting N7 million belonging to the Council for personal use.
He was arraigned by the EFCC alongside one Samuel Abiodun Ojo, a Commissioner for Agriculture in March 31, 2010, who was however discharged by the court after a no case submission filed by his counsel in June, 2012.
Upon his conviction, the former council boss, through his counsel Olu Agunbiade, filed an appeal seeking a review of his conviction.
Agunbiade then wrote to the prison authorities in Koton-Karfe demanding the health status of the accused person. On the strength of that letter, the prison authorities took the convict to a specialist hospital where he was allegedly diagnosed of lung cancer.
Agunbiade also presented to the court a letter from the prison authorities, stating that the hospital did not have facilities to treat lung cancer. On the strength of these letters, the counsel prayed the court to grant his client bail on health grounds.
But counsel to EFCC, Wahab Shittu vehemently opposed the application on the grounds that it would be tantamount to throwing the prison gate open to convicted persons who would want to use health issues to escape serving jail terms. Wahab also told the court that the presumption of innocence was no longer available to the convict having been convicted and sentenced.
While dismissing the application as incompetent, Shittu assured that the state would give adequate medical attention to the convict even if it means sending him abroad for treatment.