A Renowned Journalist and former Commissioner for Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi State, Abia Onyike, was on Monday arraigned by an Ebonyi State Magistrate’s Court, for an alleged failure to pay his tenancy rate to the State Government.
It was alleged that the accused had not paid tenement rate on his property situated at Abia Onyike Close, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state, since 2018 till date.
He was recently ordered to pay the sum of N10m for the said property, a development that led him to petition the authorities.
It was further disclosed that the former Commissioner committed the offence between 2018 and 2019, at Abia Onyike Close, in Abakaliki.
The accused was lately arrested and subsequently released by men of the Nigerian Police Force.
He was later arraigned before the Magistrate’s Court, on Monday, on one count of negligence to pay tenement rate.
The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Chinedu Mbam told the court that the offence was punishable under section 32 of the Criminal Code Cap. 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
The Defense Counsel, applied to the court for the suspect to be admitted to bail.
The Police prosecution led by Mbam opposed the bail application on the ground that the suspect would truncate further investigation into the case.
But the Chief Magistrate, Nnenna Onuoha granted the accused person bail in the sum of N200,000.00 and one surety in like sum.
Onuoha said the surety must be a civil servant of Ebonyi State origin from grade level 10 upwards and be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.
Surety, according to her, must also have an address that is verifiable and provide valid means of identification such as National ID Card, Drivers License, Voters Card, among others.
She adjourned the case till March 23, 2020, for hearing.