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Court grants bail to lawyer arrested for criticising Gov Ayade, charged with terrorism

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A Federal court sitting in Cross River, on Tuesday, granted bail to Joseph Odok, former lecturer at the University of Calabar, activist and lawyer.

According to the Punch, Justice Simon Amobeda, the presiding judge, granted the defendant freedom after he had shown ‘exceptional circumstances’ that qualified his bail application to be admitted.

The ICIR earlier reported that Odok was abducted from his residence sometime in September and locked up for over 90 days for criticising Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River state in a Facebook post.

The lawyer was subsequently charged with terrorism and cyberstalking.

The trails of Odok led Chidi Odinkalu, former Chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to lash at Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for staying silent while one of its members faced ‘injustice.’

Few days after Odinkalu’s tweet and The ICIR‘s report, Odok got his freedom after Justice Amobeda granted him bail.

Report reveals that the judge ruled that “the terms include a bail bond valued at N10m with two sureties in like sum and one of the sureties must be a civil servant with either the state or Federal Government on Grade Level 13 or above while the other must be a “close relative with a verifiable address.”

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The two sureties are also expected to depose to an affidavit and provide two passport photographs, Punch reports.

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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