Criminal Defamation: Court Grant Detained Sylva’s Former Speech Writer Bail


A State High Court sitting in Yenagoa on Tuesday granted Barr. Jonah Okah, the Former Speech Writer to the Former Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva bail over alleged criminal defamation charge filed against him by the State Government House Accountant, Mr. Richard Etonye

Barr. Jonah Okah, a civil servant in the State Ministry of Justice and Former Speech Writer to the Former Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, was arrested in Yenagoa on August 31 by the police and detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department for allegedly defaming the Government House accountant, Mr. Richard Etonye, in a face book post.

A magistrate Court, presided over by Magistrate Pere Boassa, had earlier rejected the bail of Barr. Jonah Okah, over alleged the likelihood of the accused to interfere in the ongoing investigation into the case against him and for his protection against possible reprisal attacks in public.

Bossa also noted that the bail application was turned down over the possible unrepentant posture of the accused to commit another offence.

But the Magistrate Court at the adjourned sitting on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Jonah Okah without the anticipated hearing on Bail with announcement that the prosecutor had filed a new suit at the appellate Court, the State High Court.

At the State High Court presided over by the State Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri heard the application for bail by the Defence Counsel on the grounds that the accused is a State

Counsel and would readily present himself for every hearing of the case.
The bail application was however not opposed by the counsel representing the state.

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Consequently, Okah was granted bail in the sum of 200,000 and a surety in like sum who is also a senior civil servant on Grade Level. 12.

The case was adjourned for further hearing on 14th October, 2016.

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