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Court remands man over alleged forgery, N4m fraud

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Mobile Court convicts 33 persons for violation of COVID-19 protocolsBy Chinedu Adonu

Federal High Court, Enugu, on Tuesday, remanded Mr Hillary Obetta over alleged document forgery and N4 million fraudulent transactions.

The judge, Justice Dugbo Oghoghorie, who had listened to the not guilty plea of Obetta to a four count charge, in her ruling said that the defendant, Obetta, would be remanded in custodial centre until his bail conditions are perfected.

“Bail is hereby granted, however, the defendant must be remanded in custodial centre until his bail condition is perfected.

“The bail condition includes; deposit of N1 million to the court; and two sureties, which one must be his brother, Mr Basil Obetta.

“The other, a civil servant on or above level 14, whom appointment letter and other workplace evidence would be verified by the court bailiff”, she said.

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Earlier, a four-count charge of collecting N3 million and after N1 million by false pretence to supply 5,000 copies of conductors/drivers badges and emblems; and presentation of forged “letter of engagement’’ and “To Whom It May Concern’’ with the Enugu State Ministry of Transport letter headed paper was read to the defendant.

However, the defendant, Obetta, pleaded not guilty to all four-count charge.

The counsel to the defendant, Mr Victor Ozioko, prayed the court to grant his client bail, adding that he had already filed motion for bail in his written address.

Ozioko also told the court that he was just briefed about the matter last night and needed time to prepare for the defence

“The offences mentioned are bailable offences and I pray my Lord grant us bail on liberal terms.

“Again, my client is sick, he is a known hypertensive person,’’ he said.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, Prosecutor, Mr Michael Ani, said that he had perfected his written addresses and also brought some witnesses to the court to get accelerated hearing.

Ani said that the EFCC was not opposed to bail but it must be stringent and be a condition that would make the defendant appear in court as when due.

“His sureties must be known and their status verified by the court, my Lord,’’ he said.

The judge, however, adjourned the case to March 30th for accelerated hearing.

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