By Taiye Agbaje
Abuja – Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, declined to grant the bail application filed by Obinna Uzoh, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, in the alleged forgery case filed against him by the Federal Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Uzoh and his lawyer, Eziafa Enwedo, were arraigned by the Federal Government (FG) for allegedly using a forged originating summons and court processes to obtain a forged judgement from a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to unseat Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah representing Anambra South .
Although the forged judgment had since been set aside by the Supreme Court, the duo were docked, on Thursday, on a six-count criminal charge.
However, Anani Anacletus Chuka, Aroh Ifunanya and Faith Samuel who are at large, are also defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/78/2020.
They were alleged to have conspired and used a forged motion with No. M/4017/19, and forged originating summons to obtain the upturned judgement that sacked Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) as the lawmaker representing Anambra South Senatorial District.
It was also alleged that the judgment presented by the duo was forged.
The FG told the court that the defendants, by their action, committed an offence contrary to Section 3(b) of the miscellaneous offences Act Cap M17 Law’s Of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the same Act.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Counsel to FG, Afam Osigwe, applied for trial continuation, informing the court that one of the witness, Sen. Ubah, was in court.
But Counsel to the defendants, Mr Chukwudi Igwe, prayed the court to sustain the bail already granted the 1st defendants, Mr Enwedo.
Although Igwe said he had also filed an application for bail for Uzoh, who was the 2nd defendant, the lawyer however withdrew the process having acknowledged that it was filed prior to the arraignment, and Justice Abang struck out the application.
The counsel, therefore, urged the court to grant his oral application for bail for Uzor.
Osigwe opposed the oral application for bail, saying “the Federal Government intends to put facts before the court in opposition of the application for bail.”
He noted that Uzoh was hitherto at large and deliberately refused to make himself available for trial until he was declared wanted by the police.
In his ruling, Justice Abang allowed Eziafa Enwedo to continue on his existing bail granted to him on March 19 and varied on April 23.
The court however ordered that the 2nd defendant, Uzoh, be remanded in police custody until July 6 when his formal bail application would be heard as against Osigwe’s request.
The judge also directed that police should call the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to carry out COVID-19 test on Uzoh and submit the test result to the court before the adjourned date.
“The court cannot order his remand in correctional centre having regard to the current situation and since his medical condition is not known.
“The court has to be slow in remanding defendants in correctional centre.
“The court will take further decision as regard to his custody upon submission of result of his COVID-19 test,” he ruled.
NAN reports that Justice Bello Kawu of the Abuja High Court at Kubwa had on April 11, 2019, sacked Ubah from the Senate over the allegation that he used a forged National Examination Council (NECO) certificate to contest the senatorial election that held in Anambra South on Feb. 23, 2019.
Justice Kawu directed INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return it issued to Ubah and issue a fresh one to Dr. Obinna Uzoh of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who came 2nd at the election.
However, Ubah, who contended that he was neither joined as a party nor served with any process with respect to the suit, subsequently persuaded the Court of Appeal in Abuja to set-aside the judgement he said was obtained against him by fraud.
Shortly after the appellate court’s verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court, the FCT High Court indicted and sacked three of its staff members, even as it demoted three others over their alleged complicity in forgery of the court’s processes.
An Investigative Panel that was setup by the court, said it found that the six judicial officers connived and compiled a fraudulent case-file and fabricated the judgment that was sought to be used in removing Senator Ubah from the Senate.