An Akwa-Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene has granted bail to Nollywood actor, Moses Armstrong, who was charged for rape, intimidation, conspiracy and supplying of drugs or instruments to procure abortion.
On Wednesday, the trial Judge, Justice Festus Ntong, granted Armstrong bail in the sum of N5 million.
Armstrong, a former aide to Governor Udom Emmanuel, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him by the Akwa Ibom State Government.
According to the defense counsel, Emmanuel Pantaleon, the four charges were read to Armstrong the first time since he was first arrested on June 13.
Pantaleon drew the court’s attention to his bail application filed on behalf of his client on July 25 and sought the leave of the court to proceed to entertain it.
The prosecution, I.U. Robert, an assistant state counsel, while opposing bail application, cited relevant judicial authorities and urged the court to dismiss the application which he described as an “abuse of court process.”
The Judge, after hearing submissions from both counsels upheld the defense counsel application and granted bail to Armstrong.
Armstrong is being prosecuted for allegedly raping a minor – a teenage girl he adopted and has been living with his family.
The movie actor was first arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Uyo on June 17 but the case was struck out after the Magistrate, Samuel Ukoima, ruled that the matter was not properly filed.
The Magistrate had advised the prosecution to rearrest the suspect, take him to a cell and re-arraign him properly.
Armstrong was suspended by the Actors Guild of Nigeria following the rape allegation.
The Akwa Ibom State-born actor, who started his career 23 years ago, lost his wife, Rita, in 2018.
The mother-of-two was returning to her husband’s residence in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State from Lagos when the bus she was traveling in had an accident at the Ugbogui axis of Benin Ore Lagos Expressway.
Rita, a Nollywood actress, died from spinal injuries sustained during the accident.