The suit was adjourned to July 25.
The suspects are accused of duping their fellow journalists.
Two former leaders of a journalists’ union were on Tuesday docked for duping their fellow journalists of over N14 million.
Timothy Elerewe, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists Correspondent Chapel, Abuja, and Adegbuyi Ayodele, former secretary of the chapel, were remanded in Kuje prison by Justice Suleiman Belgore of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. They were arraigned on a 5-count charge that borders on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The duo was alleged to have in 2006 informed their members of 33.32 hectares of land purportedly allocated to the NUJ Chapel by the Nasarawa State Government.
In a bid to secure the land, 111 journalists were alleged to have each paid the sum of N350, 000 per plot, totalling N14, 146,000 to the suspects.
Since then, the victims, members of the chapel, alleged that they neither got the land nor had their money refunded to them.
One of the counts reads: “That you Timothy Elewere (being former chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists Correspondent Chapel, FCT and Adegbuyi Ayodele (being former Secretary, Nigerian Union of Journalists Correspondent Chapel FCT) between January and December 2008 in Abuja within the Abuja Judicial Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory did dishonestly convert the sum of N6,491,000.00 (six million, four hundred and ninety one thousand naira only) being property of Nigerian Union of Journalists Correspondent Chapel, FCT to your own use and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 311 and punishable under section 312 of the Penal Code”.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Based on the plea of the accused persons, the prosecuting counsel asked the court to fix a date for trial and also prayed the court to remand the accused in prison pending the determination of the case.
However, counsel to the first accused person, Esther Uzoma, made an oral application for bail and pleaded with the court to admit the accused persons to bail.
Mr. Belgore insisted on a formal application for bail and adjourned proceedings to July 25 while remanding the accused person in Kuje Prison.