Businessman allegedly goes into hiding over N1.6m dud cheque
A businessman in Benin City identified as Collins Eselemo is currently on the run over two dud cheques of N400,000 and N1, 200,000, allegedly issued as tenement rate to two persons, Okechukwu Onwuchekwe and Edward Ighodaro respectively in 2012.
In the suit no: FHC/B/11c/2015, Eselemo was charged on two counts of intention to defraud Okechukwu Onwuchekwe and Edward Ighodaro respectively in 2012, an offence punishable under section 1(1)(b)(i) of the Dishonored Cheques (Offences) Act CAP DII Laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.
Presiding judge of the court, Justice A.M. Liman, had in 2015, granted Eselemo bail in the sum of N500,000 and one surety in like sum. It was gathered that both the accused and his surety have since gone into hiding to frustrate the case.
The case, which came up for hearing yesterday at the Benin Criminal High Court was again stalled when Eselemo refused to appear before the court and attempts to reach him or his surety proved abortive.
The prosecutor, Okojie S.E. told the court that the accused is holding the court in contempt, as it was the sixth counsel appearing for him. She said it was irrational for the accused to consistently be on the run, bemoaning the fake details the surety presented to the court for bail.
The presiding judge, Justice Erele Ifije, who listened to both counsel adjourned the case to January 11, 2017 for further hearing, where a motion of sopeana will be served on the accused.In a related development, Eselemo had petitioned the National Judicial Council in Abuja that he was uncomfortable with Justice E.O. Ahamioje’s handling the case.
Also, counsel to the complainant, Osoko A. A, had made a counter petition to the NJC alleging the use of spurious and unwarranted complaints against judges in order to frustrate the above mentioned defendants and their counsel.
Osoko had also in a petition letter to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, called for his intervention, as it was impossible “to trace the accused and surety admitted to bail due to the fake particulars of surety submitted after a likely compromise/connivance by judicial officer/bailiff, who verified the accused on oath.