By Dipo Olowookere
A serving member of the House of Representatives, Mr Nse Bassey Ekpenyong was on Thursday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 9-count charge of forgery and alteration of documents.
Mr Ekpenyong, representing Oron Federal Constituency in Akwa- Ibom State, brought before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The EFCC alleged the lawmaker to have forged an Abia State Polytechnic’s Ordinary National Diploma Certificate and uttered a December 1999’s West African Examination School Certificate, WASSCE and thereby committed perjury before an Electoral Tribunal where he claimed that the certificates were genuine.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.
In view of his plea, prosecution counsels Ahmed I. Arogha and S. Hussaini asked for a trial date and accelerated hearing of the matter.
However, counsel to the defendant, Mr Emmanuel Isangidoho, told the court that he had filed an application for bail for his client and urged the court to admit him to bail.
Justice Ojukwu granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10 million with one surety in like sum.
The surety must depose to an affidavit of means, provide 2 recent passports photograph and 3 years tax clearance certificate. The surety should write an undertaken to produce the defendant throughout the trial and all the documents of the surety must be verified by the Registrar.
Justice Ojukwu also ordered the defendant to be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of his bail, while the case was adjourned to April 12, 26, and May 3, 4, 2017 for trial.
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