The couple pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The police on Thursday arraigned a couple in a Grade 1 Area Court, Mararaba, Nasarawa State, for alleged criminal conspiracy, abandonment, cruelty to a 12-year-old and wrongful restraint.
John, 56, a civil servant and Juliet Akachukwu, 45, a housewife and business woman, reside behind Access Bank, Mararaba in Nasarawa State.
The police prosecutor, Cpl. Inuwa Maigida, told the court that the matter was reported at the ‘A’ Division Police Station by Armstrong Amadi of same address on August 12
Mr. Maigida said that the couple had been maltreating the 11-year-old niece of Akachukwu, who was given to them to take care of. He alleged that John and Juliet maltreated the child and threw her out of their house, adding that the child had been sleeping outside their house since June.
He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 96, 237, 238 and 256 of the Penal Code.
If convicted, the accused can spend up to10 years in prison or given an option to pay a fine.
The accused persons, pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The presiding judge, Albert Maga, admitted them to bail in the sun of N100, 000 each and one surety each in like sum.
Mr. Maga ordered that the sureties must be reasonable, possess landed property and reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He also ordered that the sureties must write an undertaking, promising the court that the accused will not commit similar offence.
He also ordered that the child be returned to the couple with a warning never to maltreat her again and adjourned the case to Sept. 5, for hearing.
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