The Chief Whip of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly, Chike Ogiji, was on Friday arraigned by the police before a Magistrate Court in the Abakaliki district for alleged certificate forgery.
Mr Ogiji, who represents Ikwo South constituency, was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on swearing of false affidavit and forgery of exam papers and primary school testimonial.
After the charges were read to him, Mr Ogiji pleaded not guilty.
His counsel, Emeka Odom, then urged the court to grant him bail. He argued that the lawmaker is presumed innocent ”at this stage until proven guilty”.
“The fundamental issue in this application for bail is to ensure that he is available to face trial. We urge this court to admit him bail on self recognition. He is a person of repute and he is representing Ikwo South constituency in the House of Assembly, he is also the Chief Whip of the Assembly,” Mr Emeka added.
“The accused is enjoying police administrative bail and is so religious in granting ‘police interview’. He came from police to this court, manifesting the respect he has for the law of the nation,” the counsel said.
But the prosecutor, Peter Amadi, objected to the bail application urging the court to dismiss it.
In his ruling, the judge, Stella Ogoke, granted the accused bail in the sum of N20,000.
He (accused) is also to provide one surety who must be a civil servant or a businessman based in the jurisdiction of the court and who must tender a valid identification.
The matter was adjourned June 11 for trial.
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