Court Orders Arrest Of Lawyer, Town Planner, Others For Forgery

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A High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory has issued a warrant of arrest on a legal practitioner, Bob Chidozie, and three others in a seven-count charge bordering on alleged forgery of title documents, conspiracy and dishonesty.
The other defendants affected by the bench warrant are Samuel Udoh-Imeh, Ifeanyi Abaekwueme and a private firm, Earth Conscience Limited.
The defendants were arraigned before the court in charge No: FCT/HC/CR/302/2023, filed by the Commissioner of Police (COP).
Justice Samira Umar Bature also issued a warrant of arrest on their sureties to come and show cause why their bail bond should not be forfeited.
The judge made the order following the absence of the defendants and their lawyers in court without explanation.
She was moved by the prosecution counsel, Abdul Ter Kohol who was armed with the fiat of the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) to take over the prosecution of the case from the Inspector General of Police.
When the matter was called, the prosecution counsel, informed the court that although the matter was scheduled for hearing, the defendants and their counsel, who were fully aware of the hearing date were not in court and no reason has been adduced for their absence.
„My lord, the defendants are not in court and are aware of today‘s date. In absence of any explanation for their absence, I apply for a bench warrant to be issued on each of the defendants.
„They have taken their plea and are fully aware of today‘s court sitting. It appears they are taking the court for granted,“ Kohol submitted.
He similarly asked for an order on the sureties to show cause why their bail bond would not be forfeited by the court.
In her short ruling, justice Bature who adjourned the case to May 20 for hearing, granted the request for a bench warrant against the defendants as well as their sureties.
„A bench warrant is hereby granted against the defendants to command their appearance in court. A bench warrant is further granted against their sureties to come and show cause why their bail bond would not be forfeited by the court,“ Justice Bature ruled.
The prosecution had specifically told the court that the defendants allegedly forged title documents including the power of attorney with fraudulent intention of converting the property belonging to Nexume Nigeria Limited.
While Bob Chidozie, an Abia State-based legal practitioner, who also doubles as managing director of Earth Conscience Limited, was a former commissioner for Works in Abia State, Samuel Udoh-Imeh works in the Information Technology and Services sector and is also an Abuja-based businessman.
On his part, Ifeanyi Abaekwueme who is a town planner by profession, 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.
During their arraignment in court, the prosecution counsel, Adama Musa told the court that the alleged offences are punishable under section 97 (1); 362 (a) of the Penal Code Law.
The defendants who were charged with conspiracy, forgery, and dishonesty were alleged to have sometimes between January 2015 and December 2022 at the FCT, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the court conspired amongst themselves to commit an offence to wit: forgery and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 97(1) of the Penal Code Law.
They were charged in count two for committing forgery with intent to convert the property of Nexume Nigeria Ltd, by fraudulently signing the signature of Mr. Olusegun Sanni, on a document titled: Memorandum of Understanding concerning plot No: 54 DO6 situated at Karsana West, FCT, Abuja, with intention of causing it to be believed that he signed the document when they knew same was false.
That the defendants committed an offence to convert the property of Nexume Nigeria Ltd by forging the signature of Mr. Olusegun Sanni on the document titled: Irrevocable Power of Attorney concerning the said property, to cause to sign the document when they knew the same was false.
The prosecution further accused the defendants of forging the signature of Olusegun Sanni on a document titled: “Board of Resolution of Nexume Ltd adopted on February 20th, 2015, appointing Messrs Earth Conscience Ltd as its lawful Attorney” with the intention of causing it to be believed that he signed the document when they knew same to be false.





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