A 46-year-old Lebanese expatriate and an employee of a water engineering firm, Lana Engineering Limited, Mr Antoine Alromi was on Friday, arraigned before an Abakaliki Magistrate Court over alleged theft of 5 KVA transformer valued at N7m.
Also arraigned before the court presided over by Olughu Nnachi were three other accused persons of Nigerian national. They are Offia Amaechi (25), Malachi Ogbodo (39), and Gregory Ndukwu (42).
According to the Charge No MAB /765/2017 between the Commissioner of Police Vs 4 accused persons, it reads, “That you Antoine Alromi (m) and Offia Benjamin (m) and other at large sometimes in the month of July 2017, at Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Magisterial District, did conspire among selves to commit felony to wit stealing and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516 A of the Criminal Code , Cap 33 vol 1, Laws of Ebonyi State 2009.”
When the matter came up for hearing, all the four accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge even as the first accused (Alromi) had no legal representation, a Barrister Gabriel Onyike appeared for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th accused persons.
Onyike had applied for bail for the accused but was opposed by the prosecution counsel DSP Kenneth Adokeme on the ground that the accused would jump bail if granted.
In his ruling, the presiding Magistrate said that the offence was bailable, and granted the 1st accused bail to the sum of N10m with two sureties who must be civil servant on Grade level 15, while the 2nd, 3rd and 4th accused were granted bail to the sum of N5m with two sureties who must be civil servants of Grade level 10 or above .
Nnachi however adjourned the matter till November 27, 2017 for further hearing.
In a related development, the Ebonyi State Police Public Relations Officer Lovet Odah has paraded four suspects for their alleged involvement in various crimes ranging from fraud, stealing, armed robbery and conspiracy.
Briefing newsmen at the Command Headquarters in Abakaliki, the state capital on Friday, the PPRO said the command remains resolute to combat all forms of criminality in the state.
Odah reiterated that the suspects would be arraigned in court after investigation was completed.