Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A Grade 1 Area Court sitting in Kubwa district of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of Sen. Hope Uzodinma representing Imo West Senatorial district for allegedly issuing a N200 million dud cheque.
Sen. Uzodinma was charged along with Smiec Engineering and Chemical Construction Company, Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company, were charged for allegedly issuing the dud cheque to Chitex Ventures and Chima Akuzie.
The action of the judge, Mr. Abdulwahab Mohammed, followed the continued absence of the Senator in court.
When the matter came up on September 11, Sen. Uzodinma was absent in court following which his counsel, Eze Oguaju promised to make him available for Tuesday’s sitting.
The Senator was, however, absent from Court forcing the judge to issue the bench warrant against him and entered a plea of not guilty for the other defendants.
The judge placed reliance on Section 478 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, in reaching his decision.
The section in reference provides that a court shall order a plea of not guilty to be entered and the trial shall proceed as though the corporation involved had duly entered a plea of not guilty.
The judge adjourned the matter until September 25 for hearing.
Chitex Ventures Ltd and Chima Akuzie, the complainants, had made a Direct Criminal Complaint against the defendants over alleged issuance of a UBA N200 million dud cheque.
The complainant’s counsel, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, had earlier urged the court to invoke the provisions of Section 131 of the ACJA against the defendant, by issuing a warrant of arrest against the defendant.
He further stated that the defendants were absent in court in spite the fact that they were aware of today’s date, September 18 fixed for definite arraignment.