Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Eleven members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) were 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 accused of conspiring to commit a felony, forgery, malicious damage of NULGE property, and placing the Union president in fear of physical injury and anxiety of being trailed by Unknown gunmen.
Among the accused persons are Chidi Orakwue, Alagwu Odife, Ezeibe Kenechi Mark, Nzekwe Chidi, Ifeanyi Nworah, and Okam K. Ifeanyi
Others are Victormary Anuna, Okaka Chukwunonso, Nwalutu Patrick, Igbokwe Ugochukwu, and Nwankwo Onyebuchi.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to all 11 Police charges.
The Prosecution counsel, CSP Nwezi Chuka, said the life of the NULGE president, Adigwe Chikwelu, is under siege and attack and that even when the matter was under investigation, the defendants kept committing the same offence of attack and issuing death threats to the NULGE president.
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 offences 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 offences 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.
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.