By Nnamdi Chidozie, Umuahia
The member of the Abia State House of Assembly representing Umunneochi State Constituency, Prince Ikedi Ezekwesiri, was on Monday charged before an Umuahia Magistrate Court on a five-count charge of impersonation, forgery and false information.
According to the charge sheet, the lawmaker lied that he was a legal practitioner while filling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Form CF 001 on January 31st, 2011 during preparation for the 2011 general elections.
The offence, according to the charge was punishable under Section 192 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The lawmaker was also alleged to have on the same date in a judicial proceeding in the High Court Registry before the Commissioner for Oaths given false testimony contrary to Section 117 an offence punishable under Section 118 of the Criminal Code Cap. C 38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
According to the prosecution, Mr. Sampson Onyemuche, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), the alleged false testimony was to enable him contest for the state Assembly election in 2011.
Ezekwesiri was also alleged to have fraudulently presented to INEC and the police during investigation, a B.Sc in Law certificate bearing Eze Ikedichi awarded with an honour in the 3rd Class degree instead of pass by the Abia State University, Uturu.
The lawmaker, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.
His lawyer, Mr. Okey Amaechi (SAN) who appeared with over 10 lawyers applied for bail for the accused law maker on self-recognition as a serving legislator.
According to Amaechi, “This is a political issue and he will not jump bail which is the major reason for granting bail”.
The Prosecution Counsel, Mr. Sampson Onyemuche, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who appeared with Mr. Godwin Ijioma (DSP), did not object to the bail application.
His words: “However, our objection will be on granting the accused bail on self-recognition. This is a criminal trial and we expect him to be given bail with a reasonable sum and surety. This is not the type of case protected by Section 308 of the Constitution”.
The presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Elizabeth Kalu, in her ruling granted the accused bail on self-recognition and adjourned to July 17, 2013.