Saturday, April 23, 2011

Presidential candidate on trial for fraud

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The only female presidential candidate in last Saturday’s presidential election, Ebiti Onoyom Ndok, was yesterday arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Abuja for allegedly issuing dud cheques to different hotels were she lodged.
Ms Ndok, the National Chairperson of the United National Party for Development and the presidential candidate of the party, has been in detention in Keffi, Nasarawa State, following a court order, and remained in detention during the presidential polls. She was arraigned in Abuja yesterday by the police and is standing trial under Section 322 of the Penal Code and Section 1 (1) of the Amended Cheque Act 2004.
She faces a three-year imprisonment if convicted of the charges. The prosecution said she lodged in a hotel from November 30, 2010 to January 24, 2011, for which she raised a cheque of N1, 287,500 to offset the bill, but it was dishonoured by her banker. She was said to have equally lodged in another hotel this year, during which she incurred another bill of N790,619 but wrote a cheque of N595,000 for part payment. It was also returned unpaid.
The Magistrate, Ahmed Shuaibu, however, adjourned hearing in the matter till May 12, 2011 after the prosecutor, S.A. Bandawa, told the court that investigation into the case is yet to be completed. The accused is standing trial for “cheating and issuance of dud cheque contrary to section 332 of the penal code law and section I (1) of the Amended Cheque Act 2004.”
Police charge
A charge sheet presented by the police read: “On the day of March 2011, one Moses Ege, of Onyx Hotel and Apartment, Abuja, came to the C.I.D department and reported that you, Mrs Ebiti, checked into the hotel from 30/11/2010 to 24/1/11 and incurred bill of N1,287,500 for which you issued a post-dated cheque which, upon presentation to the bank, was returned to the clearer dishonoured.
Similarly, on the 30/1/11, one David Simon, of Harthrow Suite, Garki, Abuja, wrote a petition to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, C.I.D, Abuja, that sometime in the month of January 2011, you, Mrs Ebiti, lodged in the suite and left without paying bills; and when confronted, you issued a cheque for N595, 000 which was returned dishonoured on presentation. And also that the total bills incurred by you is the sum of N790,619.52. You thereby committed the above mentioned offences”.

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