A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Wednesday rejected the bail of Jonah Okah, a former Speech Writer to former Governor Timipre Sylva.
Okah, a lawyer and civil servant with Bayelsa State Judiciary, was charged with criminal defamation against the Government House Accountant, Mr. Ritchie Etonye.
The Bayelsa State Police Command had arrested Okah for posting on Facebook that he had a conversation with Etonye, who allegedly confessed to him that he had disappeared with $4.6m belonging to the state government.
Okah was, on September 3, 2016, charged to court where he pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
The magistrate, Pere Boassa, remanded him (Okah) in Okaka Prisons in Yenagoa, while the case was adjourned to September 20.
On a resumed trial of the matter on September 20, Boassa, of Magistrate’s Court 7, refused the accused bail.
The magistrate explained that the bail application was turned down because of the likelihood of the accused to interfere in the ongoing investigation into the case against him and for his protection against possible reprisal in the public.
Boassa also noted that the bail application was turned down due to the possible unrepentant posture of the accused to commit another offence.
The magistrate, after listening to the argument of the defence counsel, Abala Prea, on the need for bail application as provided by the relevant laws bordering on the protection of fundamental human rights, said the decision to reject or grant an accused bail was at the discretion of the court.
The State Prosecuting Counsel, Pere Egbuson, who was represented by Peremobowei Miri, however agreed with the magistrate on the rejection of the accused’s bail application.
The magistrate, however, ordered an accelerated hearing on the suit and adjourned the case until Wednesday, September 28, 2016.