By Innocent Anaba

LAGOS — The Federal Government has preferred a 21-count charge of conspiracy and stealing of over N3 billion worth of property belonging to the Daily Times of Nigeria Plc on Fidelis Anosike and his brother, Noel Anosike before a  Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

Also to stand trial with the two are their company, Folio Communications Ltd, Nicholas Okoye and Gogo Kurubo.

The arraignment of all the five accused persons is now expected to come up before Justice Pat Ajoku on  September 27, 2010.

According to the charge, “Folio Communications Ltd, Fidelis Anosike and Noel Anosike were said to have sometimes in June 2004 conspired among themselves to obtain about 140,252,900 units which comprised about 56 per cent of the total of 233,754,840 shares of Daily Times of Nigeria Plc valued at the sum of N750million acquired from the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE, by false pretence and with representation of possessing the means to pay for the acquisition of same with fresh funds which they did not possess but with intent to defraud the Federal Government.

They were also alleged to have acquired the said shares from BPE by mortgaging the assets and selling off properties of Daily Times of Nigeria Plc to realise the acquisition of the said shares.

Count three of the charge accused the trio of stealing the sum of N500 million, property of the Daily Times, being part of the proceeds from the sale of the company’s 60 per cent stake in Naira Properties Ltd, owners of Nigeria Stock Exchange Building in Lagos.

Contacted on phone, Anosike said he was not aware of the charges and wondered why years after he acquired Daily Times,  frivolous charges would be filed against him.

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