Court rejects bail application of lawyer who criticized Gov Ayade | Ripples Nigeria
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Court rejects bail application of lawyer who criticized Gov Ayade

The Federal High Court, Calabar, on Wednesday rejected a bail application filed by Joseph Odok, a lawyer and fierce critic of the Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade.

The lawyer was arrested on September 26 for his frequent criticism of the Cross River State government.

Justice Simon Amobeda rejected the bail application on the grounds that “the defence team had not shown exceptional circumstances to have the bail request granted.”

Odok’s lawyer, Oliver Osang, filed his client’s bail application on health ground.

The judge, however, said the court was open to receiving any “fact available” from the defence counsel that could lead to a review of its ruling on the bail application.

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“We will still pursue the bail application,” the defence counsel said.

The court had last month rejected an application by the police to withdraw the charges against Odok, saying it was the Attorney General of the Federation and not the police, that has the power to withdraw the charges.

The police accused the defendant of inciting some communities in Cross River against one another and claimed the act was capable of undermining the security of the state.

The offence, according to the police is punishable under The Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.

He is also standing trial for cybercrime for allegedly calling the chief of staff to the governor, Martin Orim, a cultist.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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