An insurance manager, Abiodun Ajijola, on Friday appeared before an Abuja Magistrateâ€s Court charged with criminal breach of trust and cheating.
The police prosecutor, Monday Akor, told the court that one Cornelius Aniyaka came to Maitama Police Station on March 12 and lodged a complaint against the accused on the alleged crime.
Akor said that Aniyaka drove his car with registration Number AV 100 AKD along Kashim Ibrahim Way on Nov. 28, 2008 and got damaged by one Ini Uduk of C.Gmie Consulting Limited.
He said the companyâ€™s workers pleaded with the complainant before allowing him to park the car in the company’s premises pending his settlement by the insurance company.
He told the court that a cheque of N1.28 million and a third party claim of N355,500 were later released by Intercontinental Wapic Insurance Company for the damages.
Akor noted that the accused, who happened to be the Managing Director of the company, conspired with one Emeka (now at large) and converted the money to their use. He added that the accused had since refused to release the vehicle to the complainant. When the charge was read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty and his counsel, Mr Chidel Onuora, pleaded for bail on a liberal term.
The prosecutor, however, objected to granting bail to the accused on the ground that one of the offences committed by the accused was not ordinarily bailable.
He added that investigations into the matter had not been concluded since one of the accused was at large. Responding on point of law, Onuora said under the Criminal Procedure Code, â€œit is not conclusive that once an offence is not ordinarily bailable, then an accused should not be admitted to bailâ€™â€™â€.
Onuora also noted that the fact that a co-accused was at large should not by any means deny granting bail to the accused. The Magistrate, Mrs Duru Njideka, said she was inclined to grant bail to the accused as submitted by the counsel on ground that a co-accused at large should not prejudice granting bail to any accused brought for trial.
Njideka granted bail to the accused on stringent conditions to ensure his presence in the court to face his trial. The bail condition of N100,000 with two reasonable sureties, who must be civil servants of not less than Grade Level 08 was granted to the accused. The magistrate added that the two sureties must be residents within the court’s jurisdiction and adjourned hearing in the matter till April 19.