Former member of the House of Representative, Nze Chidi Duru and a lawyer, Smart Iheazor were on Monday arraigned before a Tinubu Chief Magistrate’s Court Lagos over alleged stealing.
The duo who reside in Abuja, are facing a four count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing, breach of peace and impersonation preferred 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 lawyers of 28 and 30 years post call at the Bar, 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 willfully and unlawfully invading First Guarantee Pension Ltd office with intent to forcefully take over the management and assets of the company.
Idenyenmia said 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.
According to the prosecutor, the offences committed is punishable under sections 409, 285, 166 (D) and 378 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
The duo pleaded not guilty to the charge against them.
Earlier before the arraignment of the former house of representative, his lawyer, 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 this morning, and was whisked to the court, and that he can’t 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 okay 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 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 a bailable offence, 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 infringed on.
The counsel also said “First defendants is a member of the bar of 28 years and was a two times former member of the House of Representative 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 Chambers in Abuja.” I urge the court to grant them bail in the most liberal term.
The prosecutor objected to the bail on self recognition adding that they should be given sureties as they do not reside in Abuja and also practice in Abuja.
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.