Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah, a former minister of state for mining and steel, will not be remanded in prison custody as earlier feared.
However, on Friday, the magistrate granted Ogah bail on self-recognisance.
The court ordered Abia police to arrest and detain Ogah for failing to appear before it to answer a question of alleged forgery brought before it by Ogah’s political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Abia APC had dragged Ogah to court over the document he used to obtain a court victory declaring him the party’s governorship flag bearer for the upcoming 2023 guber poll.
Ogah, APC’s lawyers argued in court, forged the signatures of the party’s state chairman and secretary and presented it before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja. That court, on November 11, declared Ogah as the duly elected governorship candidate of the APC in Abia.
The judgement invalidated the candidacy of Ikechi Emenike who was earlier recognized by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s candidate for the March 11, 2023 governorship election.
APC’s lawyers later argued before the Abia magistrate and accused Ogah of fraudulently obtaining the Abuja court judgement.
Following Ogah’s failure to appear before the magistrate to defend himself, the court, sitting in Umuahia on Thursday, ordered his immediate arrest and detention.
“After listening to the counsel to the petitioner and in considering the first paragraph of the provision of section 351, 4 of the Abia Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) 2017 (provision for the court to exercise its discretion on bail on consideration), then in view of the fact that the respondent is a public figure, I will consider granting him bail on personal recognisance,” the magistrate said on Friday.