The Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River, on Friday 17th January, 2020 adjourned the bail hearing for Joseph Odok, a lawyer charged with terrorism and cybercrime for criticising Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State until Tuesday, 21st January, 2020 at the instance of the prosecution.
The Justice who presided over the matter, Justice Simon Amobeda, in his ruling granted the submission of the prosecution counsel, Dennis Tarhemba which referred the court to its rules that grant a party up to a week to join issues on any process filed.
A Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tarhemba, had failed to appear in court on Thursday with Justice Amobeda ruling that the defense counsel, Oliver Osang, will be allowed to move the motion for bail should the prosecutor be absent.
On Friday 17th, Tarhemba submitted that his office received the process two days back (on Wednesday 15th) and was yet to file a response due to the fact he had travelled and returned on Thursday 16th.
The motion was filed on Wednesday and was served to them that same day; Osang told journalists.
He further affirmed that, we will wait for them to join issues and see what they come up with by the next court date.
Joseph Odok risks a death sentence if convicted for alleged acts of terrorism premised on a post credited to him on Facebook and remains remanded at the Medium Security Custodial Center in Calabar where he has already spent 88 days.
Joseph Odok was arrested at his residence in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on 26th September, 2019 and endured what family members say was a circuitous journey by road to Calabar where he was then detained at a black site facility.
Joseph spent seven (7) days in the facility before the police approached the Calabar division of the Federal High Court seeking an order to detain him for 90 days on 4th October, 2019.
Tarhemba, the prosecution counsel, said the order will aid the police to travel with the defendant within and outside the jurisdiction of the court to retrieve items that will aid their case.
According to the application, Odok was charged with criminal conspiracy, rape, treasonable felony, terrorism and obtaining money under false pretenses.
The Justice in his ruling granted Forty five (45) days with an option for renewal. Though, 10 days later on 14th October, 2020, the police filed two charges against Joseph Odok bordering on terrorism and cyber stalking.
Justice Amobeda in his ruling of 16th December, 2019 refused admitting Joseph to bail on the grounds that the defense had not shown exceptional circumstances to warrant the court to exercise its prudence.