Alex Enumah in Abuja
One Osakwe Azubuke, one of the six persons accused alongside Precious Chikwendu, the estranged wife of former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, was yesterday arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Karu area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
In the information sheet read to Azubuke, specifically accused him of conspiring with five others to make defamatory publication against the person of Fani-Kayode.
He however pleaded not guilty to the charge and was admitted to bail in the sum of N2 million with one surety in like sum.
Shortly after his not guilty plea, Azubuke’s lawyer, Mr. Emeka Uchegbulum had moved an oral application for his bail stressing that as a law abiding person, the defendant will make himself available throughout the trial.
Although police lawyer, Mr. John Ijagbemi, had opposed the bail application claiming that the defendant may jump bail, Magistrate Elizabeth Woni agreed with the defendant’s lawyer that there was nothing before the court to prove the police claim.
She subsequently admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N2 million.
Part of the bail conditions are that the surety must be resident within the FCT and shall be a reasonable person, who must bring proof of payment of utility bill or rent, and proof of gainful employment.
She then adjourned to January 10, 2020, for further mention of the case and arraignment of other defendants, if there is any.
Azubuke was the fourth defendant to be arraigned by the police on charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, forgery, using as genuine a forged document, fabricating false evidence and defamation of character.
The alleged offences run contrary to Section 79, 364, 158 and 392 of the Penal Code Law.
The first to be arraigned was one Emmanuel Anakam, which was followed by FFK’s former wife, Precious and her sister Prisca Chikwendu.
Others mentioned in the charge but yet to be arraigned include; Anthonia Uchenna, Jonathan Gaiya, Daniel Gona and Agbolo Edah.
The former Aviation Minister had in a petition to the FCT Police Commissioner, said the action of the defendants had directly affected his reputation.
According to him, the defendants had forged court documents with which they used to deposed to series of affidavit of false allegations wherein it was alleged that FFK physically assaulted, sexual harassed some of his domestic staff.
The former minister was equally alleged to have meted out inhumane treatment to the staff in addition to engaging in domestic violence.