Former Enugu CJ Arraigned on One-count Charge of Receiving N10m Donation from Litigant

Former Enugu State Chief Judge, Innocent Umezuluike, was Friday arraigned before an Enugu High Court for alleged corruption.
Justice Umezuluike is charged with a one-count charge of using his office to confer corrupt and unfair advantage.
The prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), alleged that Umezuluike received N10m donation from Arthur Eze in February 2014, who was a litigant in a pending and concluded civil matter handled by the former Chief Judge.
The anti-graft agency said that Eze, the Chief Executive Officer of Oranto Petroleum Ltd, made the donation at the launch of Umezuluike’s book “ABC of Contemporary Land Law in Nigeria.”
The EFCC said the money was drawn from the account of Oranto Patroleum Ltd and paid into Umezuluike’s Zenith Bank Account.
The counsel to the commission, Wahab Shittu, told the court that the action is contrary to Section 19 of the Independent and Corrupt Practices and Other Related (offence) Act (Laws of the Federation) 2000.
The former Chief Judge, however, pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge.
His lawyer, Agu Gab-Agu, asked the court to grant Umezuluike bail on self recognizance and to address him as “Honourable Justice”.
He argued that the former Chief Judge was granted bail on self recognition in a similar matter pending before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.
The prosecuting counsel, Shittu, did not object to the bail request, but pleaded with the court for accelerated trial of the case.
Justice Anthony Onovo granted the former Chief Judge bail in the sum of N1m and ordered that he be addressed as Justice Umezuluike during the trial.
The Judge adjourned the case till October 26-27, and November 2-3, 2017, for definite hearing.

Author: News Editor

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