Court sends Daily Times ‘publishers’ to prison over alleged fraud

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A Chief Magistrate’s Court in Abuja on Tuesday remanded two brothers in prison for allegedly impersonating ownership of the Daily Times Newspapers.

Fidelis and Noel Anosike were arraigned before the Mpape Magistrate’s Court Tuesday morning on charges of criminal conspiracy, fraud and theft, PREMIUM TIMES learnt from those who attended the proceeding.

They were arrested by the police on Monday on allegations of forgery and impersonation as the owners of Daily Times.

The journalist brothers have been enmeshed in a long-drawn court battle for the ownership of the vintage publishing house, which has been in publication since 1925.

A former Nigerian senator, Ikechukwu Obiorah, had sued the Anosikes, accusing them of forging Daily Times documents and claiming ownership of the newspaper.

Mr. Obiorah accused the brothers of opening bank accounts with which they allegedly used to receive billions of naira when they held an event in commemoration of the paper’s 91st anniversary, according to court filings seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

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The offences contravene section 96, 321, 286 and 362 of the penal code and the brothers face up to 14 years imprisonment if convicted of the charges.

Mr. Obiorah also accused the brothers of receiving N100 million from him for a non-existing printing house in Abuja.

The brothers denied the allegations before the magistrate Azubuike Ukagu, who rejected the pleas of their lawyers not to send them to prison remand.

Wole Olanipekun, a lawyer to Mr. Anosike, did not immediately return PREMIUM TIMES’ phone calls and text messages seeking comments about Tuesday’s court proceeding.

The matter has been adjourned to February 14,and the Anosikes were transported to Kuje Prisons, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

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