Alleged forgery: I’m sick, Bayelsa senator tells court

The arraignment of the senator representing Bayelsa Central, Benson Konbowei, for alleged, was on Monday stalled due to his absence from court.

The PUNCH reported that the Inspector-General of Police instituted a forgery charge against the senator.

In the suit marked: CR/028/2023,  the IG preferred three charges, bordering on alleged forgery of the National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate, among others, against the senator.

He was specifically accused of fraudulently forging a document titled ‘Certificate of Exemption’ with number 000256454 and dated July 4, 2008.

The police said the senator acted contrary to the provisions of sections 366,156 and 158 of the Penal Code Act CAP 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and was liable to punishment under Section 364 of the same Act.

But when the matter came up in court on Monday,  the counsel for the defendant, Gordy Uche (SAN), told the judge that his client was “medically indisposed” and tendered a medical report to substantiate his claim.

He said,  “My Lord, the defendant is medically indisposed and cannot be in court. He is on a drip.  I pray the court for an adjournment. I promise to provide him at the next proceedings.”

However,  the counsel for the Attorney General of the Federation, Egwuaba Reuben, alleged that the defendant was evading trial.

He prayed the court to issue a bench warrant against the senator.

Egwuaba said, “We oppose the medical report. He was at the force headquarters and wrote a petition against me on Friday where he stated that he wanted the police to continue with the case. He said he did not want me. In view of this, I seek an order of this court in accordance with Section 352 of the ACJA to issue a warrant of arrest for the defendant. His absence is a calculated attempt to undermine the court.”

The trial judge, Justice Christopher Oba, overruled the prosecutor and accepted the tendered medical report.

“The problem is that the court is expected to act on fact. If you have a contrary view, you should say it on oath or bring another document to show the medical report is not the fact,” Justice Oba said.

The judge, however, observed that the medical report brought by the senator had no hospital name.

He said the name of the hospital must be supplied and thereafter adjourned the matter till March 26 and 28 for arraignment and commencement of trial.

“If you don’t come with your witnesses, I will strike out your case,” Justice Oba told the prosecutor.

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *