Geoffrey Anyanwu, Awka
The Igwe-elect of Ogugu community in Awgu Local Government Area, Chief Emmanuel Ogbonna, was yesterday arraigned at the Enugu South Magistrates’ Court for perjury.
In the two-count charge brought against him by police through the prosecutor, Austin Aguodoh, Ogbonna was accused of claiming on oath to be an engineer when he has no qualifying certificate to that effect.
The charge No. MES/258C/2020, Commissioner of Police versus Chief Engr. Emmanuel Muodebel Ogbonna reads: “That you Chief Engr. Emmanuel Muodebel Ogbonna ‘m’ sometime in 2011 at Enugu State High Court, Awgu Division, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make an oath in Suit No. HAW/01/2011, Chief Engr. Emmanuel Muodebel Ogbonna and Jonas Uchenwa and six others that you are an Engineer when you knew you never obtained any professional qualifying certificate and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 145 and punishable under Section 146 of the Criminal Code, Cap 30, Vol. II, Revised Laws of Enugu state of Nigeria 2004.
“That you Chief Engr. Emmanuel Muodebel Ogbonna, ‘m’ within same time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district did with intent to defraud falsely represent yourself as a professional engineer when you knew you were not and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 460 of the Criminal Code, Cap 30, Vol. II, Revised Laws of Enugu state of Nigeria, 2004.”
After the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges, his counsel, Nwabueze Ugwu, applied for his bail on very liberal terms, saying: “The accused is an octogenarian and Igwe-elect of his community. It is that status that is in contention.
“The accused is a community leader; he is always in his palace in the village and can never absent himself from court. We make an application that he be granted bail on self recognition.”
The prosecutor said he was not opposing bail for the accused but it would be with reasonable surety that must have verifiable address.
Ruling on the bail application, the Chief Magistrate Nwebiem said the accused was admitted to bail with the sum of N300, 000 and a reasonable surety. He adjourned the matter to September 14 for definite hearing.