…Hearing begins Dec 9
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Popular Nollywood actor, Jim Iyke, was on Friday, docked before a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja following allegation that he duped a company to the tune of N15 million.
He was charged with criminal breach of trust, criminal force, assault, cheating and criminal misappropriation contrary to sections 312,265,322 397 and 309 of the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, the actor who mounted the dock yesterday, pleaded not guilty to a one count criminal charge that was preferred against him by the Nigeria Police Force.
Specifically, Police alleged that he used fraudulent tactics and acquired 15 per cent equity shares of a music company, Untamed Records Ltd.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Chijoke Okezie, told the court that investigation into the case revealed that the accused, a resident of Sunnyville Estate, Abuja, hoodwinked one Habiba Abubakar into granting him access to share documents of the recording company.
He said police was invited into the case after Abubakar who is the manager of the company, discovered that 15 per cent of its equity shares was transferred to Jim Iyke.
Consequently, Abubakar wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Police (IG) on August 8, urging him to investigate the fraud.
Okezie said the accused admitted that the complainant paid the money into his Oceanic Bank account No. 00500173691, deviating from his initial plan of investment and converted the money to his personal use.
He added that when the complainant confronted the accused, he allegedly turned violent, threatening to kill her.
Nevertheless, immediately the actor entered his plea yesterday, his counsel, Esther Uzoma, relied on the provision of section 341(2) of the Criminal Procedural Code, and sought his release on bail.
His lawyer pleaded the court to grant him bail on self-recognition, vouching that he will be available to conclude his trial.
Though the prosecuting counsel objected to the request, however, Chief Magistrate Okeagu Azubike, acceded to the oral application, and granted him bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
The Magistrate stressed that the sureties must be responsible Nigerians who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.
He further adjourned the matter till December 9 to enable the police to complete their investigations.