Alleged Stolen N13m: Defence Counsel's absence stalls trial in Ebonyi

Hearing on the trial of three former employees of Lopa Energy Company  Ltd. in an Ebonyi High Court over alleged stealing of over N13million belonging to the company has stalled.

At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Justice Elvis Ngene adjourned the case until March 22, 2021 at the instance of the prosecution.

When the matter was called up, the judge enquired about the counsel to the second accused person, Simon Uguru but was told that he was absent.

Ngene expressed worry over the development and ordered that since the offense for which the accused persons were charged with was not a capital one,”the defendant can still defend himself. 

“In the next adjourned date, if his lawyer fails to come, the second accused person will defend himself," Ngene said.  

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Mrs Blessing Eze sought for the leave of the court to adjourn the suit due to the absence of Mr P. A. Nwoga representing the second accused person.
Mr Chinedu Nwaogbaga and counsel to the first accused person, said that his client and the two others were workers in Lopa Energy Company Ltd.  

Recall that the accused persons, Ukaegbu Christiana, Simon Uguru and Omeze Joy were arraigned in suit no. HAB/416/2020 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over fraud. 

They were said to have sometime in 2014 conspired amongst themselves to steal monies and property belonging to the company. 

The offense is said to be contrary to Sect.516 of the Criminal Code CAP 33, 2009, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria.

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