From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has adjourned the trial of a legal practitioner, Bob Chidozie Ogu, and three others until July 3, 2024. The defendants are facing a 7-count charge bordering on alleged forgery of title documents, conspiracy, and dishonesty.

The other defendants are Samuel Udoh-Imeh, Ifeanyi Abaekwueme, and a private firm, Earth Conscience Limited. They were arraigned before the court in charge No: FCT/HC/CR/302/2023, filed by the Commissioner of Police (COP).

Justice Samira Umar Bature adjourned the matter after prosecution counsel, Abdul Ter Kohol, informed the court that the case file currently in his possession was incoherent. The adjournment was also to allow the court to hear the preliminary objection raised by the 3rd defendant, Bob Chidozie Ogu.

Ebere Okonkwo and NJ. Obiezu announced appearances for the 1st and 2nd defendants, while the 3rd defendant represented himself in court. Kohol, a private legal practitioner, has the fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, to prosecute the matter.

Kohol requested a short adjournment to respond to the preliminary objection filed by the 3rd defendant. The court vacated the bench warrant against the defendants following their presence in court. The warrant had been issued at the instance of the prosecution counsel following their absence in court.

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Justice Bature agreed with the prosecution counsel that the fiat of the AGF is a communication between the AGF and the prosecution counsel and can only be served on the court and to counsel. However, the judge said the defence counsel is at liberty to apply to the court for a copy of the fiat.

The prosecution alleged that the defendants forged title documents, including the Power of Attorney, with the fraudulent intention of converting the property belonging to Nexume Nigeria Limited.

Bob Chidozie, an Abia State-based legal practitioner and former Commissioner for Works in Abia State, is also the Managing Director of Earth Conscience Limited. Samuel Udoh-Imeh works in the Information Technology and Services Sector and is also an Abuja-based businessman. Ifeanyi Abaekwueme, a Town Planner, is a career civil servant with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and owner and founding director of Earth Conscience Limited.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy, forgery, and dishonesty, with the alleged offences punishable under section 97 (1); 362 (a) of the Penal Code Law.

They were accused of forging the signature of Mr Olusegun Sanni on various documents, including a Memorandum of Understanding, an Irrevocable Power of Attorney, and a Board of Resolution, with the intention of converting the property of Nexume Nigeria Ltd.

The prosecution further accused the defendants of forging the signature of Olusegun Sanni on an Eco Bank cheque worth N500 million, causing Nexume Ltd loss of property.

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