The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 arraigned one Kingsley Uche Ezeji before Justice H.A Othman of the Plateau State High Court sitting in Jos, on a 6-count charge bordering on stealing and issuance of dud cheques.
The accused, being a sales representative of Fareast Mercantile Company Limited, Abuja allegedly collected goods worth N4.5m from the company’s warehouse in 2011 without delivering the goods to the consignee. In an attempt to pay back the money, the suspect issued three Diamond Bank cheques which were returned unpaid.
Count one of the charge reads: “That you, Kingsley Uche Ezeji sometime in September 2011 in Jos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, being an employee of Fareast Mercantile Co. Ltd and in such capacity was entrusted with Firestone tyres worth the sum of N1,423,139.00 (One million, four hundred and twenty three thousand, one hundred and thirty nine naira only), did dishonestly dispose of the Firestone tyres in violation of the Company policy touching the discharge of such products and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 311 of the Penal Code Law, Cap.532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and punishable under section 312 of the same Act”.
The accused pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.
In view of his plea, counsel to EFCC Ibrahim Audu urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody while praying for a date for the commencement of trial. Responding, the defence counsel, Okwudiri Nwosu urged the court to admit his client to bail. However, the prosecution counsel objected on the grounds that the accused had jumped the administrative bail earlier granted him by Commission.
After listening to both counsel, Justice Othman granted bail to the accused in the sum of Eight Hundred Thousand Naira Only (N800, 000.00) and one surety in like sum.
The case has been adjourned to December 9, 2013 for commencement of trial.