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‘Certificate forgery’: Court remands Bayelsa senator in prison

The federal capital territory (FCT) high court in Apo, Abuja, has remanded Benson Konbowei, senator representing Bayelsa central, in prison.

In the suit marked CR/028/2023 preferred by the inspector-general of police (IGP), the lawmaker is facing a three-count charge bordering on forgery of his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate, among others.

Konbowei is accused of forging a document titled ‘Certificate of Exemption’ with number 000256454, dated July 4, 2008.

The police said the senator acted contrary to the provisions of sections 366,156 and 158 of the penal code Act CAP 532 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and is liable to punishment under section 364.

Konbowei was arraigned on Tuesday before Christopher Oba, a judge, and pleaded not guilty.

The court allowed the senator to go home and fixed the hearing of his bail application for Thursday.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Rubben Egwaba, prosecution counsel, opposed Konbowei’s bail application.

Egwaba said the prosecution is worried that the senator would interfere with his trial if granted bail.

“When the charge was filed, the defendant took several steps to interfere with the matter,” he said.

“He also wrote a lot of petitions against me to truncate the matter. We urge my lord to refuse the application,” the prosecutor said.

However, Gordy Uche, Konbowei’s lawyer, prayed the court to grant his client bail, assuring that the lawmaker would not jump bail.

In his ruling, the judge granted the senator N50 million bail with two sureties in like sum.

The judge said the sureties must own landed properties with certificates of occupancy within the FCT.

But the judge ordered that the senator be remanded in the Kuje correctional centre pending the perfection of his bail conditions.

He declined an oral application by the defendant’s lawyer to write an undertaken to produce the senator in court till he perfects his bail.

The judge subsequently adjourned the matter till June 24, 25 and 27 for hearing.

The Cable

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