Criminal Charges: Court issues warrant of arrest against ex-lawmaker, Chuma Nzeribe

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From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja has issued a warrant of arrest against a former House of Representatives member, Chief Chuma Nzeribe for disobedience to order of the court.

Justice Halilu Yusuf who issued the arrest warrant ordered the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies of government to arrest Nzeribe in any part of the country and bring him to court to face judgment in criminal charges against him.

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The Federal Government put the Anambra politician on trial on alleged impersonation and cheating while in Abuja.

Although, judgment in the trial was fixed for March 11 by Justice Yusuf, the former lawmaker was however absent in court.

Justice Yusuf on March 11 granted a request for shifting of the judgment to March 21 but to the chagrin of the court, Nzeribe did not show up without any cogent reason.

Acting on the request of EFCC, the Judge invoked a provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act ACJA 2015 and ordered security operatives across the country to arrest the former federal lawmaker in anywhere he is found and bring him to court.

The Judge directed that Nzeribe be detained by security operatives until he is brought before the court.

Nzeribe, a former governorship aspirant on the People’s Democratic Party PDP platform in Anambra state was put on trial by the federal government on charges bothering on impersonation, possession of false federal government


documents and using same to cheat.

His lawyer, Charles Ndukwe had on March 11 told the Judge that a relatiom of his client sent a letter that the former House of Representatives member was down with chronic hypertension.

The letter from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital and dated March 10 was presented in court.

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In the drama that ensued over the source of the letter, the Judge had directed the lawyer to contact his client on phone to know how long it will take him to recover.

However, following inability of the counsel to give a categorical date, Justice Yusuf fixed March 21 with an order that the defendant must be physically present in court for the judgment to be delivered.

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Shortly after the adjustment, counsel to the former lawmaker had challenged the presence of newsmen in court.

The legal practitioner who was visibility angry with newsmen had queried their interest in covering judgment on the trial of his client.

The charges against the ex- Reps member read

*That you Hon. Chuma Nzeribe sometime in March, 2013 at Abuja, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did have in your possession a document containing false pretence to wit: Re: Application for Statutory Right of Occupancy within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with reference Number MFCT/LA/FCT 1302 dated 18/06/03, bearing the name of Ramatu Alhassan and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6, 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud related offences Act, 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.

*That you Hon. Chuma Nzeribe sometime in 2005 at Abuja, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently make a false document to wit: Re: Application for Statutory Right of Occupancy within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with reference number MFCT/LA/FCT 1302 dated 18/06/03, bearing the name of Ramatu Alhassan ‘and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 363 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) and punishable under Section 364 of the same Act.

*That you Hon. Chuma Nzeribe sometime in 2005, at Abuja, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did use as genuine a document to wit: Re: Application for Statutory Right of Occupancy within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with reference Number MFCT/LA/FCT 1302 dated 18/06/03, bearing the name of Ramatu Alhassan and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 366 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) and punishable under Section 364 of the same Act.

*That you, Hon. Chuma Nzeribe sometime in 2007 at Abuja, within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did cheat by Personation, by representing yourself to be Ramatu Alhassan opposite Gwagwa Market AMAC, Gwagwa Village Abuja and thereby committed an office contrary to Section 321 of the Penal Code, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990 and punishable under section 324 of the same Act.

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