ABIA LAWMAKER ARRAIGNED OVER FORGERY

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THE lawmaker representing Umunneochi State Constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, Prince Ikedi Ezekwesiri, was yesterday arraigned before an Umuahia Magistrate Court on a five-count charge of impersonation, forgery and false information.

Ezekwesiri was alleged to have on January 31, 2011 in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Form C.F. 001 while preparing for election into the State House of Assembly, falsely declared to be a legal practitioner.

The offence, according to the charge was punishable under Section 192 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.

The lawmaker was also alleged to have on the same date in a judicial proceeding in the High Court registry before the Commissioner for Oaths given false testimony contrary to Section 117 an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code Cap. C 38 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.

According to the prosecution, Mr. Sampson Onyemuche, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), the alleged false testimony was to enable him contest for the state Assembly election in 2011.

Ezekwesiri was also alleged to have fraudulently presented to INEC and the police during investigation, a B.Sc in Law certificate bearing Eze Ikedichi awarded with an honour in the 3rd Class degree instead of pass by the Abia State University, Uturu.

The lawmaker, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges where read to him.

His lawyer, Mr. Okey Amaechi (SAN) who appeared with over 10 lawyers applied for bail for the accused law maker on self-recognition as a serving legislator.

According to Amaechi, “This is a political issue and he will not jump bail which is the major reason for granting bail”.

The Prosecution Counsel, Mr. Sampson Onyemuche, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who appeared with Mr. Godwin Ijioma (DSP), did not object to the bail application.

His words: “However, our objection will be on granting the accused bail on self-recognition. This is a criminal trial and we expect him to be given bail with a reasonable sum and surety. This is not the type of case protected by Section 308 of the Constitution”.

The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Elizabeth Kalu, in her ruling granted the accused bail on self-recognition and adjourned to July 17, 2013.

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