Alleged N2.5bn fraud: Court remands community leader, 4 others

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AN FCT High Court in Kubwa, Abuja, on Thursday, ordered that a community leader, Samuel Ezekwo and four others be remanded in a correctional centre, pending ruling in their bail application for allegedly diverting N2.5 billion from the American Hospital Limited.

Ezekwo, Chikwendu Udensi, Felix Akhibue, John Okoro and Iyamah Edward with two counts of criminal conspiracy and breach of trust preferred against them by the Inspector General of Police.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya, gave the order, after the defense counsel, Ikechukwu Ezechukwu, SAN, applied for bail
for Ezekwo and filed a seven-paragraph affidavit pursuant to sections 158, 162, 163, 164 and 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).

Ogbonnaya adjourned ruling in the bail application of the defendants until March 12.

The judge also ordered for accelerated hearing in the matter and fixed June 7, June 9, June 10, June 14, June 15, June 16 and June 17.

Earlier, Ezechukwu urged the court to grant Ezekwo bail, pending his trial saying he had been on administrative bail since 2011 and had been diligent in making himself available to the police.

Abang Odok, counsel to Udensi and Okoro,  filed a motion pursuant to Section 162 of ACJA and Section 36 (5) of the 1999 constitution dated, Oct. 12, 2020.

Odok attached a 49-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Udensi with a written address and adopted same as his argument urging the court to grant the defendants bail.

The counsel to Akhibue and Edward also made bail applications for their clients.

The prosecution counsel, Abdulrashid Sidi, filed counter-affidavits saying bail is given at the discretion of the court and urged the court to exercise its discretion judiciously in the interest of justice.

Sidi said that the defendants allegedly conspired sometime in September 2010 and diverted Two billion, Five Hundred million naira to their personal use.

He asserted that the said sum was a fund approved by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for America Hospital Limited.

Sidi said the offense contravened the provisions of sections 97 and 312 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

– Mar. 4, 2021 @ 13:28 GMT

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