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Forgery: Nwude protests detention order on appeal

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Forgery: Nwude protests detention order on appeal

 

Days after his application for bail before an Ikeja High Court collapsed, a businessman detained over an alleged criminal offence, Chief Emmanuel Nwude has headed for the Court of Appeal to challenge the lower court’s verdict which struck out his application.

The court had for the third time denied Nwude’s bail following forgery charges initiated against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Apparently dissatisfied with the court’s ruling, dismissing his bail application, Nwude filed an appeal before the Lagos division of the appellate court to challenge the decision.
Nwude and two others were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before the court on offences bordering on conspiracy, forgery and dealing with forfeited property without authorization.
While the other two were granted bail, the court had rejected Nwude’s right to bail.
In a notice of appeal, filed by his lawyer, Chief Emeka Okpoko (SAN), leading Victor Opara, Joan Monye, I. Fidel-Anyanna, J.O.Odini and P.K Abazie, Nwude had contended that the trial judge, Mojisola Dada erred in law when she held that he was serving a prison term.
According to him, Justice Dada erred in law when it suo motu raised an issue that he was currently serving a prison term without inviting his lawyers to address the court on the issue, insisting that it was trite that when a court raised any issue suo motu, the court would be duty bound to call parties to address it on the issues, particularly, the party that would suffer prejudice as a result of the issue raised suo motu.
Besides, he is asking the appellate court to allow the appeal and set aside the ruling of the lower court by admitting him to bail pending the determination of the trial at the lower court on the most liberal terms with a view to compelling the Lagos Chief Judge to transfer the matter to another judge.
The appellant had applied for bail for the third time, arguing that there were proofs of changed circumstances as the alleged offence was bailable.
For instance, Nwude’s lawyer, Okpoko said “the trial court failed to see that the applicant/appellant is not serving any prison term at all. The learned trial court did not appreciate that it is under judicial duty to concentrate on the fact and evidence presented before the court by the parties.
“The court failed to see the fact that there is no evidence at all from all the parties suggesting that the applicant is currently serving any prison term. That the court failed to act on the evidence placed before it.”
Also, in an accompanying affidavit deposed to by the appellant’s wife, Uju Nwude, she averred that the judgment upon which the charge against her husband was predicated was obtained by fraud, adding that the appellant had aggravated health challenge.
But the EFCC in a counter affidavit by Jonathan Pwol, described Nwude’s deposition as untrue and incorrect and urged the court to refuse the bail application.
Justice Dada in her ruling, denied Nwude bail while predicating her decision partly on the grounds that Nwude was currently serving a prison term, which according to the appellant, was not raised by either parties.

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