By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
The criminal division of Edo state high court sitting in Benin has remanded five former members of the Edo State Welders Association to prison custody for allegedly stealing N15 million belonging to the union.
The accused persons were last Thursday remanded in Benin prison, pending the hearing for the bail applications came up for yesterday.
The presiding judge, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele adjourned ruling to October 13, 2017
Counsel to the accused earlier in their bail applications, averred that the offences allegedly committed by the accused are bailable.
The counsel which include, Igbafen Momodu Ohio, Ivie Fidelis Elema and Charity Aiguobarueghian in their separate submissions, averred that the offences in which the accused are being tried are not capital punishment.
While urging the court to grant the bail on self recognition, they noted that the prosecuting counsel does not file counter-affidavit to oppose the bail.
Opposing the bail application, Harrison Ibekwute, counsel to EFCC noted that when there are substantive evidence before the court filing of counter-affidavit was unnecessary.
The accused former executive members of the Edo State Welders Association are Isaac Ogundimu, Monday Ewemade, John Odaro, Andrew Egharevba and Omorogbe Jacob.
The accused who are facing 15 count charge bordering on conspiracy, stealing by conversion, forgery and altering are being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
They were alleged to have committed the offences between January and December, 2016.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charge read before them.
The alleged offences according to the charge sheet, was contrary to section 383 (1)(a) and section 516 and punishable under section 390 (9) of the Bendel State Criminal Code Law of 1976, as applicable to Edo state.