Mr. Uchenna Elom, ‘M’, 32, and Chinaza Ituma, ‘F’, 24, from Ovudulagu village, Umuogudu Akpu-Ngbo community, in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area, have been arraigned by the Ebonyi State Police Command, for alleged stealing and conspiracy in the state.
The suspects were arraigned on Tuesday before an Abakaliki Magistrates’ Court on two counts of conspiracy and stealing.
The police prosecutor, Inspector Mbam Chinedu, told the court that the accused persons committed the offenses at United Bank for Africa (UBA) Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state, on September 28th and 30th, 2019.
The first accused, Elom, was said to have picked a lost Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card and started, ‘trial and error’ game, used same ATM to withdraw the sum of Five Hundred thousand Naira (N500,000.00) and thereafter gave it to Chinaza, the woman he was cohabiting with and she went ahead to withdraw extra One Million Naira (N1,000,000) from the same account.
It was gathered luck ran out against them when the ATM owner, one Odechi Godwin, got a hint of the fraudulent act and reported to the bank, which later alerted the police of the development.
Citizens’ Advocate, further learned that Mr. Odechi had forgotten to block the lost ATM card and didn’t receive an alert from his banker, while the illegal withdrawals were going on.
The accused, who were said to have been cohabiting for over five years and currently have three children, allegedly used the money to acquire a car, a fridge, and other properties.
According to the police inspector, the offenses were punishable under sections 516A (a) and 390 (9) Criminal Codes Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
The charge reads, “That you Elom ‘m’ 34 and Chinaza Ituma ‘f’ and others now at large, on the 28th and 30th day of September 2019 at UBA Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Magisterial District did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: stealing and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
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“That you Uchenna Elom ‘m’, Chinaza Ituma ‘f’ and others now at large on the same date, place and in the aforesaid Magisterial District did steal the sum of one million, five hundred thousand nairas (N1,000,000.00), property of one Odechi Godwin ‘m’ and thereby committed an offense punishable under section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”
After listening to the suspects and the police prosecution as well, the Chief Magistrate, His Worship, Magistrate Ngozi Ngele, granted the accused bail on the condition that they had little children, who were not being looked after by anyone.
They were granted bail in the sum of N500,000 each with one surety in like sum. The court said the surety must be a civil servant in Ebonyi State of any grade and must deposit his or her work Identification card and GEM 35.
The magistrate also added that the surety must equally deposit any means of National Identification which includes National ID card, Voters Identification Card, and Driver’s license.
The case was adjourned till November 11, 2019, for hearing.