From David Eze,
The Ebonyi State Police Command has arraigned a 52-year-old lawyer, one Barr. Onu Onwe and Nshe Monday, before an Abakaliki Magistrate court for allegedly stealing the sum of N5m belonging to one Igwe Nwokpata, in the state.
The first defendant, Onwe, it was gathered, had been a lawyer to the complainant for over 13 years and sold his (the complainant’s) piece of land for the sum of N29m but brought the sum of N24m to the complainant.
Trouble started when the lawyer asked the complainant (Igwe Nwokpata) to sign the Power of Attorney. It was learnt that the complainant refused to sign the document; and the lawyer, realizing the complainant’s unwillingness to cooperate, went ahead and forged his signature into the document.
The defendants committed the offence at Nna Street, Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state, on October 25, 2018.
They were arraigned on three counts of felony, stealing and conspiracy,
The Police Prosecutor, ASP Mathias Eze, told the court that the offence was punishable under sections 516A (a); 309 (9) and 467 (2)(d) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
The charge read in part, “That you Onu John Onwe ‘m’, Nshe Monday ‘m’ and others now at large , on the 25/10/2018, at Nna Street, Abakaliki, in the Jurisdiction of this Court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; stealing and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
“That you Onu John Onwe, ‘m’, Nshe Monday ‘m’ and others now at large on the same date and place in the aforementioned Magisterial District did steal the sum of N5,000,000.00, property of Igwe Dennis Nwokpata and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap.33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2018.”
The defendants, through their Counsel and chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (Abakaliki Branch), pleaded for leniency.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Nnenna Onuoha, granted the first accused person bail, for self recognition, in the sum of N200.000.00.
While the second accused person was equally granted bail in the sum of N200,000.00, both were asked to provide two sureties each, who were resident within the jurisdiction of the court and had tax clearance of 2018, 2019 and 2020. Onuoha adjourned the matter to April 14, for hearing.