By Onozure Dania
Lagos—Former House of Representative Member Nze Chidi Duru and a senior lawyer Smart Iheazor were yesterday arraigned before a Tinubu Chief Magistrate’s Court Lagos over alleged theft and impersonation.
The duo who reside in Abuja, are facing a four count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, breach of peace and impersonation preferred against them by the police.
They were allege to have conspired to commit the alleged offences on January 11, 2017.
The defendants who are both senior lawyers of 28 and 30 years in the Bar, committed the offences at 65 Kudirat Abiola Way Oregun Ikeja Lagos.
The prosecutor P. O Idenyenmia told the court that the defendants and others who are still at large stole three office files and one HP Laptop valued at N250,000, property of First Guarantee Pension Ltd (FGPL).
He said that the duo also conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by wilfully and unlawfully invading First Guarantee Pension Ltd office with intent to forcefully take over the management and assets of the company.
Idenyenmia said that the defendants with intent to defraud introduced themselves as vice chairman and Secretary respectively of First Guarantee Pension Ltd and acted same in an attempt to take over the management and assets of the company.
According to the prosecutor the offences committed is punishable under sections 409, 285, 166 (D) and 378 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
The duo pleaded not guilty to the charge against them.
Earlier before the arraignment of the former house of representative’s counsel Emeka Etiaba SAN, told the court that his client Duru was on the verge of collapsing inside the court room and that he was just discharged from the hospital this morning (yesterday) and was whisked to the court, and that he can’t even stand on his own.
But the prosecutor told the court that the doctor at the police hospital were Duru was treated certified that he was ok to go home and that he can’t take him back to the police custody and a warrant had already been issued on him on Friday by a magistrate.
However Magistrate Mr A. A Adefulire ordered that the defendants should be docked before him. After the arraignment the defence counsel urged the court to grant the defendants bail on self recognisance stating that the offence they committed is a bailable offence and that they have been in the police custody for four days, which is far beyond the constitutional rights of the defendants as their rights have been infringed on.