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Court Orders Arrest of Senator Uzodinma


An Abuja Area Court sitting Kubwa, has ordered the police to arrest a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma, who represents Orlu Zone, Imo West in the National Assembly, for allegedly issuing a dud cheque of N200m.
The bench warrant was issued Tuesday by Justice Abdulwahab Mohammed of the Grade 1 Area Court, Kubwa, Abuja.
The Senator, alongside two companies, Smiec Engineering and Chemical Construction Company, Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company, were charged to court for allegedly issuing a N200m dud cheque to Chitex Ventures and Chima Akuzie.
Chitex Ventures Ltd and Chima Akuzie, the complainants, had made a Direct Criminal Complaint against the defendants over alleged issuance of the said dud cheque.
The ruling followed Uzodinma’s failure to enter appearance in the said offence despite being notified through court processes.
At Tuesday’s proceedings, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, the complainants’ counsel, in an oral application, noted that Uzodinma was absent in court despite being represented on the previous date by a lawyer, Eze Oguaju, and being aware of the proceedings slated for September 18.
in a ruling, the court said that Uzodinma has consistently failed to attend court to answer to a direct criminal complaint, pending against him, despite evidence of being served with court summons.
The judge, acting under Section 478 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), entered a not guilty plea for Uzodinma’s companies named as defendants with the Senator, in the suit marked: CR/358/2018.
Ojaomo, who noted that Oguaju, who appeared for the defendants at the last adjourned date, was also absent, asked the court to invoke Section 131 of the ACJA 2015 against the defendants by issuing a bench warrant to compel their appearance in court.
Akuzie, the complainant said Uzodinma subcontracted to his company a shore-line protection contract in Koko, Delta State, which he (Uzodinma) got form the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and that the cheque was intended to pay for the execution of the project.
Following submission by the complainants’ counsel, Justice Mohammed noted that at the last date (September 11), the court rejected a similar application by the complainant to afford the defendants the opportunity to attend court by themselves.
The judge noted that Oguaju also promised to ensure that his client attend court on the next date. He further noted that the court had warned that it would, suo motu (on its own) invoke Section 131 of the ACJA should Oguaju renege on his pledge to ensure that his client attend court.
He said: “Based on the above, and relying on the available facts, that the defendants are absent and are without legal representation, I am inclined to grant the application made under Section 131 of the ACJA 2015, as made by the complainant’s counsel.
“And also, relying on the record of this court dated 11th day of September 2018, this court hereby invokes Section 131 of the ACJA in ordering the issuance of arrest warrant against the 1st defendant (Uzodinma).
“By virtue of the provision of Section 478 of the ACJA, and for their absence, a plea of not guilty is entered for the 2nd and 3rd defendants,” the judge said.
He adjourned to September 25 for the defendants’ arraignment.

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