Thursday 15 December 2016

Chief Priest In My Village Said Spirit Stole $3000 Of My Boss’ Wife - Man Tells Court

One Chike Akwittis alias ‘Dr. Justified Isioma Nnaemeka,’ was Wednesday arraigned before the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The accused is facing a 4-count charge bordering on marriage scam and theft. Akwittis was accused of stealing $3000 belonging to her boss’ wife. He reportedly claimed that the chief priest in his village said it was a ‘spirit’ that stole the money. He was also accused of entering into a fake marriage agreement with a Road Safety official and in the process swindled her of several millions of naira to the tune of N6.7million.

According the prosecutor, by the act of marriage scam, the accused breached Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, whereas, by this act of theft, the accused breached Section 286 (1) and punishable under Section 287 of the Penal Code.

Upon arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the four counts when they were read to him. In view of his plea, counsel to EFCC, Ola T. Oji, urged the court to fix a date for hearing and asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending trial.

But the defense counsel, U. C. Oparaujo, through an oral application, prayed the court to grant his client bail. Oparaujo said relying on Section 158 and 165 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the defendant had never breached the administrative bail earlier granted him by EFCC.

In his response, counsel to EFCC argued that, though the defendant had not defaulted in the administrative bail granted him by the Commission, “the game has changed as he is now before a court of law. He added that the defendant does not live within the jurisdiction of the court.”

The chief judge, Justice Sylvanus C. Oriji admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N3.5million with two sureties in like sum. In his ruling, Oriji said the sureties must be resident within the F.C.T, their addresses must be verified by either the Registrar of the court or the EFCC and one of the sureties must be a civil servant not below salary grade level 12.

Justice Oriji ordered that the accused be remanded in Kuje prison pending the perfection of his bail terms. He adjourned to January 23, 2017 for trial.

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