By Enyim Enyim
ONITSHAâ€”Three former leaders of Onitsha Patent MedicineÂ Shop Dealers Association, OPMSDA,Â have been arraigned before an Onitsha Magistrate Court for conspiracy andÂ stealingÂ N.7million belonging to the association.
The accused persons, Moses Madu, 50, Mbah Raymond, 42 and Mbaegbu Modestus, 40, however,Â pleaded not guilty to the charge. According to the charge, the accused were said to have at various times, conspired among themselves to steal the unionâ€™s money, an offense punishable under section 195(a) of the Criminal Code of Anambra State, 1991.
Madu was said to have on 2 May 2008 stolen N175,000 cash, property of the association, being money released at the associationâ€™s meeting for the purpose of a condolence visit to late Christopher Edeh.
According to the charge, Madu and others at FinBank Plc, Onitsha on 30 May 2008, were said to have conspired and stole the sum of N350,000 from the associationâ€™s account without the consent and authority of the association.
The accused persons were also said to have on 2 June 2008, at FinBank, Onitsha,Â conspired and stole the sum of N175,000Â from the associationâ€™s account.
Defence counsel, however, urged the trialÂ Magistrate, V.I. Udedike to grant the accused bail on liberal terms, contending that the matter was a union affair.
He assured the court that the accused persons will not jump bail given their status and age. The Prosecuting Police officer, did not oppose the bail application but insisted on stringent bail conditions to ensure that they will not jump bail.
The accused persons were granted bail in the sum of 200,000 with one surety each in like sum, who must have national identity card, three years tax clearance and resident within the court jurisdiction. The matter has been adjourned to 25 MayÂ 2010.