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Published On: Fri, Jul 17th, 2020

Court dismisses charges against Ex-NMA officials in Edo

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From. Nosa Akenzua, Asaba

A Benin high Court has dismissed Charges bordering on conspiracy and felony brought against the Former officials of the Nigerian Medical Association ( NMA) state branch.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission ( EFCC) had filed a suit against Mr Emmanuel Ighodaro ( Chairman) Mr Anthony Owolabi , Mr Quincy Atoghengbe, Mr Raymond Ogieva and Mr Osaremen Gabriel Ogbebor over issues bordering on alleged stealing of N21.7million and conspiracy to commit fradulent fales accounting as the accused Persons were facing a 21- count charge preferred against them by EFCC.
According to the EFCC, the defendants Committed the Offence while acting in their capacities as Officers of Edo NMA between 2013 and 2014 adding that the Offences were punishable under section 516 section 435( 2) ( C) section 435( 2,) ( b) Section 390,( 7) and Section 390( 9) of the Criminal Code.
According to the charge sheet, EFCC alleged that the accused Persons between 2013 and 2014 conspired to make a false entry in the audit report for the accounting year ended August 1st, 2013, to July 31,2014 of the association, inserting” anticipatory income” in the report to cover a loan of N6million yet to be received.
It also alleged that the accused Persons conspired to omit an entry of N3miilion withdrawn from the Fidelity Bank account No 4150018859 in the aduit report for the accounting year of the association, while other allegations were conspiracy to make a false entry in the audit report for the accounting year ended August 1st, 2013 and July 31, 2014 of the association that the sum of N2,700miilion out of the N6million loan taken by the outgone executive had been repaid on trust.
They were also alleged to have stolen the sum of N3miilion, the sum of N2million, N1million being the property of the association, N2,100million out of the N2,805million claimed to have been spent from another account number 1013598852 on exhibition stands for the annual delegate meeting/ annual general conference of the NMA for 2014
Other allegations were the stealing of N895,000 , N200,000 and N805,000 from an account 1013598852 by the accused Persons being property of the association as they were arriagned by the anti graft agency in January 2018 over the alleged conspiracy to commit felony, punishable under section 516, 435 ( 2) ( C) 435,( 2) ( b) 390 ( 7) and 390( 9) of the Criminal Code of the Criminal Code CAP 48 laws of Bendel state of Nigeria as applicable to Edo state
The court had in may 2018 ruled that Atoghengbe and Ogieva had no case to answer but the case came up for mentioning, Counsels to the defendants, Imadugbelo Ighodalo, ,( SAN) and Kingsley Obamogie prayed the Court to dismiss the charges and aquit the defendants
On his part, Counsel to the EFCC, Samuel Ibekute , opposed to the applications but after carfully listening to the arguments and counter arguments, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba in her ruling on Tuesday dismissed all charges and aquitted the defendants
Meanwhile,a middle aged man identified as Friday Ejiro in Sapele, Delta state has allegedly stabbed his close friend to death over argument on sharing formula of N12,000 won at a gambling bet
Sources said the friends won the said amount at a gambling bet and at the point of sharing the money, argument ensued which led to a fight a situation the middle aged man allegedly stabbed his friend to death and in his attempt to escape,he was caught by the police
The police Commissioner in the state, Hafiz Muhammed Inuwah who Confirmed the incident, said that the arrested Suspect was helping the police for further investigation, adding that the incident occurred on Monday in Sapele town and assured that the Police will carry out thorough findings as to how the middle aged man allegedly stabbed his friend to death before he will be charged to court.

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