Monday, January 16, 2017 8:48 pm
By Akin Kuponiyi
The two accused who reside in Abuja, are facing a four-count criminal charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, breach of the peace and impersonation proferred against them by the police.
They were alleged to have conspired to commit the alleged offences on January 11, 2017.
The defendants who are both senior lawyers of 28 and 30 years at the Bar, were alleged to have 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 stated 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. The offences alleged to have been committed is punishable under sections 409, 285, 166 (D) and 378 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
The two defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge against them.
Earlier before the arraignment, the the former rep’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 in the morning and was wisked to the court, and that he could not even stand on his own.
But the prosecutor told the court that the doctor at the police hospital where Duru was treated certified that he was alright 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 the presiding 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 recognition, stating that the offence they committed is bailable 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 infrindged upon
The counsel also said “First defendants is a member of the bar for 28 years and was a two times former member of the House of Representatives and a chairman of Guarantee Pension.” He is the founder and promoter of Guarantee Pension and it was going to be forcefully taken”.
“The second defendant is his counsel and a partner at their law firm White and Kings Chembers in Abuja. I urge the court to grant them bail.”
The prosecutor objected to the bail on self recognition adding that they should be given sureties as they do not reside in Lagos and not practice in Lagos.
Consequently after listening to their submissions, Magistrate Adefulire granted the defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 each with one surety each in like sum.
The matter was adjourned till March 9 and 10, for hearing
The author of this story Mr Akin Kuponiyi can be reached at email@example.com .