Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has remanded a couple, Mr Emmanuel Dike and his wife, Ugochi Dike in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre for alleged involvement in a N500 million fraud.
The couple who are facing five counts of conspiracy and fraud in suit Number FHC/PH/458c/ 2023, were also granted bail by the trial Judge, Justice Patricia Ajoku.
When the matter was mentioned in court yesterday, the couple separately pleaded not guilty to the charge filed by the federal government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The charge stated that the accused persons allegedly defrauded one company, Clipboard Office Superstores Limited, of N500 million with the pretence that it was for investment purposes that will yield the company 10 per cent interest.
Also at the mention of the matter, the Defence Counsel, Jerome Okeke, told the court that he had filed an 11-paragraph affidavit to support his bail application.
He pleaded with the court to grant his clients bail, assuring that they will be present at all sitting and will not jump bail.
But the prosecution counsel, Dr Ben Ubi who also filed 18 paragraphs affidavit to counter the bail application, told the court to refuse the bail plea.
Deciding on the arguments on the bail application, the trial Judge, Justice Ajoku, granted the bail application by the defence counsel.
Ajoku granted bail to the accused in the sum of N 1million each to the couple, noting that the surety must be up to a grade level 12 civil servant in Rivers state and should present a letter of employment and certificate of occupancy.
The court affirmed that the surety must reside within the jurisdiction of the court, produce passport photographs and admonished the lawyer to ensure his clients appear in court during the next sitting.
The court however, adjourned till January 30, 2024 for trial and remanded the accused persons in the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre, pending when they meet the bail conditions.