Bail After Sentence: Release of ex-Gov Ngilari strange, threat to respect for the Nigerian judiciary—Prison Service

James Bala NgilariThe Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) has described as strange the bail granted the convicted former Adamawa State Governor, Mr. James Bala Ngilari.

The Controller of Prison, Adamawa State Command, Mr. Peter Tenkwa, who spoke in Yola on Wednesday said the development portended a serious threat to respect for the nation’s judiciary.

He said he had thought that the same court that jailed Ngilari lacked constitutional powers to grant bail to the convict who had already started enjoying his jail term at the Yola main prison.

“I have never heard about this kind of judgment in my life that a court will jail somebody and the same court will turn-around and grant a controversial bail to the convict.

“Legally, only the Appeal Court has powers to take such an action.

“Since Ngilari has appealed his case, the lower court has lost powers to preside over such a case.

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“What happened at Justice Nathan Musa’s court on Monday was a big challenge to Nigeria’s judiciary,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the controller yesterday said the officer, Superintendent John Bukar, who issued the fake medical records for Ngillari, had been detained in Yola Prison.

He stated that only doctors from Federal Medical Centre and Specialist Hospital, Yola, have powers to present an acceptable medical record on Ngillari and any other inmate that needs treatment outside the prison hospital.

It would be recalled that Justice Musa, in his judgment, had sentence Ngillari to five years imprisonment without an option of fine for violating the Public Procurement Act in the award of contract for the procurement of 25 vehicles at whopping sum of N168.7 million to unknown female contractor.

But Ngillari, having appealed the sentence, went back to the same court that convicted him and asked for bail pending the determination of his appeal. The bail plea was supported by a forged medical report, which indicated that the former governor had been under intensive medical management.

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The report stated that Ngillari had diabetes, hypertension and insomnia.