The senator representing Bayelsa Central, Benson Konbowei, will be arraigned on allegations of alleged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate forgery on March 26 by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice.
Due to the defendant’s absence, Senator Konbowei’s docketing before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, was postponed from Monday, February 12.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) preferred three counts against the senator in the case marked: CR/028/2023. These charges include, among others, forgery of the NYSC exemption certificate.
On July 4, 2008, he was alleged to have criminally forged a document under the title “Certificate of Exemption” and the number 000256454.
The police claimed the senator was in violation of several parts of the Penal Code, Act CAP 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990, including sections 366, 156, and 158. They also claimed that he was subject to punishment under Section 364 of the same Act.
Senator Gordy Uche’s (SAN) legal team claimed Monday that their client was “medically indisposed” and presented a medical report to back up their assertion during Monday’s proceedings at the FCT High Court sitting in Apo division.
He informed the judge, “The defendant is unable to appear in court due to medical reasons. A drip is keeping him alive. The court should postpone the case, I beg. He will be provided at the next sessions, I assure you.
On the other hand, Egwuaba Reuben, who represents the Attorney General of the Federation, said that the senator was trying to avoid trial and asked the court to arrest him on a bench warrant.
“We disagree with the medical report,” Egwuaba stated. On Friday, he expressed his desire for the police to proceed with the investigation by writing a petition against me while at the Force Headquarters.
I was told he didn’t want me. Therefore, I am requesting that this court issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest in compliance with Section 352 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). The court is being undermined by his intentional absence.
In spite of this, Justice Christopher Oba, the trial judge, rejected his objections and accepted the submitted medical report.
The issue is that the court is supposed to make decisions based on facts. The court ruled that witnesses should either testify under oath or present more evidence to disprove the medical report as factual.
The judge demanded that the hospital’s name be included after noticing that it was missing from the paperwork.
He postponed the arraignment and trial dates to March 26 and 28, respectively.
In a stern warning, the judge threatened to dismiss the police case unless their witnesses could be located.
The prosecution’s Egwuaba and Eyinsan Lawrence caused a stir earlier when they announced themselves in court.
In his testimony, Egwuaba claimed that the case had been taken over by the AGF and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), and that he had a fiat to defend him.
Lawrence, meanwhile, claimed that Egwuaba had only just informed him a few minutes ago.
He just stated, “I was just notified. This morning, I was served by Egwuba. We believe the IGP should be notified so that he can handle the situation independently.
“The situation calls for further investigation into the fiat and his assertion that the AGF is handling the case.”
The judge disagreed with Lawrence and added that the Attorney General is the country’s top law enforcement official.
His reasoning was that he had shown documentation proving his affiliation with the AGF, thus he would be easy to identify. The country’s top law enforcement official is the AGF.
Return to me when you’ve looked into any possible reasons not to recognize him. It is my legal obligation to address this matter. Your look will be completely unfamiliar to me.