Convicted teacher refused bail

National, Normal


PROFESSIONAL obligation should not be used as an excuse to seek bail after conviction, acting National Court and Wabag resident judge Justice Nemo Yalo said.
Justice Yalo said this when refusing bail to Porgera High School teacher Moses Saa who was being convicted with one count of misappropriation.
Following his conviction after trial, the court ordered that Saa be held in custody while awaiting his sentence.
Saa applied for bail under “exceptionally circumstance” and gave reasons like welfare of his family, personal medical condition, loss of his  job, the welfare and future of his Grade 10 class at Porgera High School and two other separate legal proceedings currently affecting him.
Mr Saa told the court that he was married with two wives, one living in Buka while the second spouse lived with him.
They had five children and he was the only bread winner in the family, and also the only one supporting the children‘s education. 
He told the court that his prolonged period in custody would affect the children’s education.
Saa also told the court that he was also an asthmatic patient.
Furthermore,  Saa  said if he were held in prolonged custody, he was likely to lose his job while his Grade 10 students at Porgera High School might not be adequately prepared for their final year Grade 10 examinations.
He said the welfare of Porgera High School students  was at stake  as he  was the only Grade 10 mathematics, science and agriculture teacher and no-one else could  teach these subjects to the students.
But Justice Yalo said though he sympathised with his family, the fact that his family would suffer due to his prolonged term in custody had been brought about by himself.
Justice Yalo also said he did not think the medical document supplied was genuine.
The judge said if he lost his job as a teacher, it was the  natural flow of consequences he must accept.
Justice Yalo said while he considers the students’ welfare and education as important, he did not think it proper that a convicted prisoner should stand before the students and teach. He, therefore, refused bail.