11 members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) were last Wednesday, arraigned before the Magistrate Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State capital.
The NULGE members were arraigned on a 6-count charge by the Anambra State Police in a matter between them and the Commissioner of Police in the state.
They are being arraigned of conspiring to commit a felony, forgery of union letterhead papers, malicious damage of NULGE property, and placing the Union president Comrade Chikwelu Adigwe in fear of physical injury and anxiety of being trailed by Unknown gunmen.
Among the accused persons are Chuddy Orakwue, Alagwu Odife, Ezeibe Kenechi Mark, Nzekwe Chidi, Ifeanyi Nworah, Nwalutu Patrick, Ugochukwu Igbokwe , Okam K. Ifeanyi ,Victor Mary Anuna and Nwankwo Onyebuchi
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all 11 count charges.
The Prosecution counsel, CSP Nwezi Chuka, said the life of the NULGE president, Adigwe Chikwelu, was under siege and attack and that even when the matter was under investigation, the defendants kept committing the same offense of forgery, attack and issuing death threats to the NULGE president Comrade Chikwelu Adigwe.
He prayed the court to give the matter an accelerated hearing. He also urged the court to give an order for the remand of the defendants in a correctional center in the interest of peace and tranquility.
Responding, the Defense Counsel, Sir Basil O. Aguigwo, argued the charges are all bailable offenses and that the Magistrate Court has the jurisdiction to grant such bail.
Aguigwo informed the court that all the defendants are civil servants on grade levels 14 and 15 respectively, and had neither disobeyed previous invitations of the police to warrant them to disobey court summons.
Presiding over the matter, Magistrate Anyaegbunam Nonyelum said the charges are proper bailable offenses and granted an accelerated hearing on the matter.
She also granted the defendants bail with varying conditions including providing a surety, depositing N50,000, 2 passport photographs, and affidavits, among others, as Odife Alagwu, Ezeibe Kenechi Mark, Chidi Nzekwe were remanded in correctional center for inability to perfect their bail condition which the secretary of the union has to take them on bail. When contacted the state secretary Comrade A.C okoro said that he is yet to be contacted on the issue over standing in for their bail but he also emphasized that the accused will as usual impersonate his position as this has been their regular practice ,but he promised to do when contacted but will never take it for granted if they impersonate his office and person as usual.
The Magistrate urged the parties to be of good behavior pending the outcome of the matter.
The hearing of the matter will commence on September 12 to October 18, 2023.