The Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has arraigned Gabriel Onoh, the first son of former Governor Christian Onoh of old Anambra State, and two others before the Federal High Court in Enugu on an eight-count charge bordering on fraud and forgery.
Onoh, who was chairman of Enugu North Local Government Area and commissioner in the state, was arraigned alongside Emeka Okoli and one Chukwuemeka Oji, reportedly at large.
The charge read in part: “That you, Gabriel Onoh (m), Emeka Okoli (m) and Chukwuemeka Oji (m), now at large, on the month of December 2014 at Enugu, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did unlawfully conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; forgery of survey plan thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 546 of the Criminal Code Act, CAP 278 laws of the federation 2004.”
The first accused, Onoh, was said alleged to have forged the signature of his late father of a C-of-O, and used the documents to fraudulently collect the sum of N50 million from one Chukwubuike Peter Zion in a property sale.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the eight charges.
Enechi Onyia (SAN), leading the defence counsel, urged the court to grant his client bail, as the alleged offence was a bailable one, even as he complained that his client had already been in police custody for some days prior to the arraignment.
SP Matthew Omosun, the prosecuting counsel from force legal department, Abuja, who was standing in for the IGP, opposed the bail, noting that the first accused, for instance, possesses two passports, hence can jump bail.
Justice Mihammed Liman, the trial judge, in his ruling, granted the accused persons bail to the tune of N2 million each and one surety each in like sum, who must be a respected personality that must also possess a landed property with valid and verifiable documents within the jurisdiction of the court.
Liman ruled that in the alternative, the accused persons could deposit N2 million cash or a bank guarantee of like sum in the custody of the court.
He remanded the accused persons in prison custody pending the fulfilment of the bail condition, while the matter was adjourned till July 25 for further hearing.