A serving Deputy Director in the Enugu State Water Cooperation, Mr. Emeka Edoh, has been arraigned before a Magistrates’ Court in Enugu North Magisterial District, over alleged false pretence with intent to defraud some residents of Enugu of the sum of N150,000.

Edoh was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Joseph Agu, yesterday. The charge sheet marked MEN/240/C/2024 was read out to the 56-year-old defendant and Level 15 civil servant, who, however, pleaded not guilty.

The police also arraigned four people, namely, Onyeka Nicholas, male, aged 27; Okechukwu Umeh, male, aged 40; Monday Udeh, male, aged 37, and Tochukwu Eze, male, aged 28, and others at large for alleged illegal roadblock, intimidation, and extortion of money from Enugu residents and motorists.

The Water Corporation’s deputy director’s one-count charge read: “That you, Edoh Emeka ‘M’, on the 23rd day of April, 2024, at No 144 Banks Avenue, in Enugu North Magisterial District, did by false pretence and with intent to defraud, obtain the total sum of 150, 000 from Chinyere Ogbonna, Onyinye Ugwu and other members of the neighbourhood with the pretence to rectify their Enugu State Water Corporation bill, which you know to be false and, thereby, committed an offence punishable under section 386 of the Criminal Code, Cap 30 Vol. 11, reversed Laws of Enugu State of Nigeria”.

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A bail application for the Defendant made by his counsel, Barr. E.E. Ezekwe, who argued that it was a bailable offence was opposed by a Senior Legal Officer from the Office of the Attorney-General of Enugu State, Barr. Onyinye Ugwu. Ugwu argued that the offence for which Mr. Emeka Edoh was charged was a serious one.

After hearing the arguments of both parties, Magistrate Agu granted Edoh bail in the sum of N500,000. He is also to provide a surety, who must be a Staff of the Enugu State Water Corporation of Grade Level 14 or above. The matter was, thereafter, adjourned to May 22, 2024 for hearing.

However, Onyeka Nicholas, Okechukwu Umeh, Monday Udeh, and Tochukwu Ezeh, who had been arraigned earlier were not as lucky, as Magistrate Agu refused their bail following their arraignment on three count charges bothering on felony, intent to intimidate and collect money from unsuspecting members of the public, and breach of peace.