By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Umuahia
A Magistrate Court in the Obingwa Magisterial district of Abia state which sat at the Ohuru Isimiri Police station, Obingwa LGA has granted bail to two catholic faithful, John Nwaogu and Kennedy Nwaomu.
The arraignment of the duo was sequel to a land dispute at Ohuru community between Chief Enyinnaya Abaribe, senator representing Abia South and the Catholic Diocese of Aba.
In a two counts charge in suit No MOB/13/2020, Commissioner Of Police vs John Nwogu and Kennedy Nwaomu, count one reads: “ That you, John Nwaogu Kennedy Nwaomu and others now at large on or before the 28th day of March, 2020,at Egbelu Umuadile village in Ohuru Amaisii, in Mgboko magisterial district did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit malicious damage and removal of beacons and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 A (1) of the criminal code cap 80, laws of Abia State of Nigeria2005.
Count two reads: “That you, John Nwaogu Kennedy Nwaomu and others now at large on or before the 28th day of March, 2020, at Egbelu Umuadile village in Ohuru Amaisii, in Mgboko magisterial district, did willfully and unlawfully damage some economic trees such as palm trees valued at N250, 000 property of Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 451 of the criminal code cap 80 Vol iii Laws of Abia state of Nigeria 2005.”
An arraignment notice had earlier slated the sitting of the court to be at Mgboko , headquarters of Obingwa LGA. However, the Court later sat at the Ohuru Isimiri Police station.
After the defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them, their counsel, Ben Nwachukwu, applied for bail.
Presiding Magistrate, Linda Okoro, granted them bail in liberal terms and adjourned the matter to June 10, 2020.
Vanguard gathered that the Catholic Church, Umuahia Diocese had in 1977, acquired over 40 plots of land situated at Abaribe’s community, Ohuru and had developed structures on the land and has been using same for the church’s activities until 2020 when the senate minority leader startedlaying claims to the land.