The Federal Government, on Thursday, arraigned Dr Obinna Uzor and his lawyer, Eziafa Enwedo on a six-count criminal charge before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
They were accused of using a forged originating summons and court processes to obtain a forged judgement from a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory to unseat Senator Ifeanyi Ubah representing Anambra South in the Senate.
The forged judgment has since been set aside by the Supreme Court.
Also joined as defendants (who are at large) in the charge numbered, FHC/ABJ/CR/78/2020, are Anani Anacletus Chuka, Aroh Ifunanya and Faith Samuel.
It was alleged that they conspired and used a forged motion with No. M/4017/19, and forged originating summons to obtain the upturned judgement that sacked Dr Ifeanyi Ubah of the Young Peoples Party (YPP) as the Senator.
The Federal Government told the court that the defendants, by their action, committed an offence contrary to Section 3(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the same Act.
Meanwhile, the defendants, pleaded not guilty to the charges and their lawyer, Mr Chukwudi Igwe, prayed the court to release the 1st defendant on bail but withdrew his application for bail of the 2nd defendant, pursuant to which same was struck out.
The prosecution counsel, Mazi Afam Osigwe, urged the trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang not to allow the defendants’ counsel to orally apply for bail as the Federal Government intends to put facts before the court in opposition to the application for bail.
Osigwe noted that the Obinna Uzor was hitherto at large and deliberately refused to make himself available for trial until he was declared wanted by the Police.
In his ruling, Justice Abang allowed Eziafa Enwedo, who is the 1st Defendant to continue on the existing bail granted him on March 19, 2020, and ordered that the 2nd defendant, Uzor should be remanded in police custody till July 6, 2020, when his formal bail application will be heard.
Justice Abang directed that the Police should call the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to carry out COVID-19 test on the 2nd defendant and submit the test result to the court before the next adjourned date.
“The court cannot order his remand in prison, having regard to the current situation and since his medical condition is not known. The court will take a further decision as regards to his custody upon submission of the result of his COVID-19 test”, Justice Abang ruled.
It would be recalled that Justice Bello Kawu of the Abuja High Court sitting in Kubwa had on April 11, 2019, sacked Ubah from the Senate over the allegation that he used a forged National Examination Council (NECO) certificate to contest the senatorial election held in Anambra South on February 23, 2019.
Justice Kawu directed INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return it issued to Ubah and issue a fresh one to Dr Obinna Uzor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who came 2nd in the election.
However, Ubah, who contended that he was neither joined as a party nor served with any process with respect to the suit, subsequently persuaded the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division to set-aside the judgement he said was obtained against him by fraud.
Shortly after the appellate court’s verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court, an Investigative Panel set up by the Abuja High Court, found out that six judicial officers, connived and compiled a fraudulent case-file and fabricated the judgment that was sought to be used in removing Senator Ubah from the Senate.
One of the charges against Uzor and his codefendants reads: “That you Eziafa Samuel Enwedo on or about September 2019 at the Federal Capital Territory within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire with Anani Anacletus Chuka, Aron Ifunanya, Faith Samuel and Obinna Uzor all of who are at large to commit a felony to with forging originating summons number CV/3044/18 Anani Anacletus Chuka Versus Ubah Ifeanyi Patrick and Others and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap M17 Law’s Of the Federation Of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under Section 1(2) of the same Act”.