The Nigerian Police Ebonyi state command has arraigned a woman before a Magistrate Court sitting in Abakaliki for getting married to two men at the same time.
The 22-year-old woman, Nkeiruka Winifred and her relatives, Mr. Chijioke Obasi and Stanley Mbam were dragged to court for alleged involvement in unlawful marriage and defrauding of the first husband, Dr Solomon Nwankwo, of the sum of N150,000.00 paid as dowry at Hausa Quarters and Mbam Street, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, on October 26, 2019.
Mrs. Nkeiruka Winifred is accused of going into another marriage whereas her statutory marriage with Dr. Nwankwo, the complainant in the suit numbered MAB\109c\2020 contracted on September 28, 2017, at the Magistrate’s Court Registry Ozubulu Nnewi, Anambra State, is still valid.
The suspects were arraigned before a chief Magistrate’s Court presided over by His Worship Nnenna Onuora on Monday, on three counts of conspiracy, bigamy and fraud.
The police prosecutor, ASP Mathias Eze, told the court that the offence was punishable under sections 516A (a), 370 and 419 (A) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
However, after considering the facts of the matter, the trial Magistrate granted the accused persons bail in the tune of 100,000.00 each in like sum, and suspects to provide one surety each who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court, must be either a business man or civil servant.
The matter was adjourned to 2nd day of March 2020 for hearing.
The charge read, “That you Nkeiruka Winifred ‘f’, Chijioke Obasi ‘m’ and Stanley Mbam ‘m’ all of Hausa Quarters and Mbam Street respectively, in the Abakaliki Magisterial District, on October 28, 2019, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; bigamy and thereby commit an offence punishable under section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
“That you Nkeiruka Winifred ‘f’, Stanley Mbam ‘m’ on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned Magisterial District, did contract a fresh marriage with one another when the union between Nkeiruka Winifred ‘f’ and one Dr Solomon Nwankwo contracted on September 28, 2017, at the Magistrate’s Court Registry Ozubulu Nnewi, Anambra State, still subsists and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 370 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
Note: Section 370 of the Criminal Code Act provides thus: “Any person who, having a husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
“This section of the Code does not extend to any person whose marriage with such husband or wife has been dissolved or declared void by a court of competent jurisdiction, nor to any person who contracts a marriage during the life of a former husband or wife, if such husband or wife, at the time of the subsequent marriage, shall have been absent from such person for the space of seven years, and shall not have been heard of by such a person as being alive within that time.”