Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Abakaliki Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the state police command to release a former chairman of the Ikwo Local Government Area in the state, Moses Onyema Nwekoyo, and Nwabueze Alegu, who have been in detention for weeks over alleged conspiracy, forgery, and advance fee fraud.
On October 28, 2023, the state police command paraded Nwabueze Alegu and Moses Onyema Nwekoyo for allegedly defrauding one Emmanuel Ede Nnaji from Enugu State of the sum of N54 million.
Police spokesperson, Onome Onovwakpoyeya, told journalists that Nwabueze, his wife Chinyere, and Nwekoyo committed conspiracy, forgery, and advance fee fraud by selling people’s land.
“This is a case of conspiracy/forgery of title document and advance fee fraud, reported through a written petition against the suspects, Alegu Chinyere, Alegu Nwabueze, and Moses Onyema.
“Forged title documents were recovered from them; they defrauded Mr Emmanuel Nnaji Ede of Enugu, and the sum of fifty-four million naira (N54,000.000) and twenty-one million, three hundred and ninety thousand naira (N21,390,000) was recovered from Alegu Nwabueze’s bank account,” she stated.
But Alegu and Nwekoyo denied any involvement in land fraud, saying that they genuinely transacted land business with relevant documents and described allegations against them as untrue.
Since October 28, the duo had been in police custody, prompting their lawyer, Godfrey Chika Ogbuinya, to approach the Court seeking the enforcement of their fundamental human rights in suit no. FHC/AI/CS/197/2023.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mrs Augustina Ogbodo, SP Fabian Iloabanafor, Inspector Chukwudi Okpara, the IPO on the matter, Emmanuel Ede Nnaji, Obinna Agu, and Celestine Okah are the defendants in the suit.
The court, presided over by Justice H. A. Nganjiwa, in an ex parte order, ordered the police command to unconditionally release Moses Onyema Nwekoyo and Nwabueze Alegu forthwith from its detention facilities pending the determination of the substantive suit.
“That an order is made that the Respondents grant the applicant bail on such terms and conditions as they deem fit or charge him to the appropriate court with competent jurisdiction for whatever offence he has committed, if any.
“Alternatively, it is hereby ordered that the respondents produce the applicant before this court on the next adjourned date to come and show cause why the applicant should not be released on bail.
“That the matter be adjourned to November 22, 2023, for hearing,” the ex parte order, a copy of which was obtained by Ikengaonline read.