Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Monday dismissed an application for a post-conviction bail filed by the convicted former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
Kalu had on December filed the application, following his conviction and sentencing to 12 years imprisonment for N7.1bn fraud by Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos on December 5.
In the application, counsel to Kalu, Lateef Fagbemi(SAN) had claimed that he had health challenges that could not be managed by the medical facilities in the Correctional Centre in Lagos.
He had also argued that the offences for which he was convicted and jailed were bailable.
Kalu prayed the court grant him bail, while he challenges his conviction at the Court of Appeal.
However, counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs(SAN) opposed the application for post-conviction bail.
He said: “Although bail is generally a right of an accused as guaranteed by the Constitution, it is not a right available to a convict because the presumption of innocence had crystallized into guilt and conviction.
“An application for bail pending appeal is sparingly granted.
“Such a bail can be granted in a situation, where the term of imprisonment would have elapsed before the determination of the appeal.
“But that is not the situation in Kalu’s case,”
Jacobs also argued that the medical report tendered in the case was obtained over a year ago.
“There is no recent medical report to show his state of health,” he said.
After listening to the argument of both parties, Justice Liman dismissed the application for lacking in merit and also ordered Kalu to remain in the correctional facility pending the determination of his appeal.