22nd December, 2010
By Paul Sanusi
A transport assistantÂ working for Ekeson Transport Nigeria Limited, Kelechi Okoro, has been arraigned before an Ebute Metta Magistrateâ€™s Court, Ebute Metta,Â Lagos State, southwest, Nigeria, on a two-count charge of felony and stealing.
The 34-year old man was alleged to have committed the offences with others who are now at large on 24 November, this year, at Jibowu motor park, Lagos State.
He was accused of stealing a carton of cell phones valued at N1,100,000, the property of Ifenyi Umeh.
The two offences, according to Inspector E.A. Ayorinde, the Prosecuting Police Officer, are contrary to sections 390(9) and 516 of the Criminal Code Cap.Â C17, Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.
However a mild drama took place when the counsel to Kelechi, Mr. Kola Afolayan, applied for his bail, which the prosecutor opposed.
The prosecutor told the court that he opposed the bail application because the accused does not reside in Lagos State. He said since he lives inÂ Onitsha,Â Anambra State, and come to Lagos once in a while, his address cannot be traced if he fails to appear for trial at the next adjourned date.
Kelechi quickly responded that he has a house in Lagos, where he always stay whenever he is in Lagos and accused the police of not including his the addressÂ in the statement he made at Alakara Police Station, where he was earlier detained.
However, Sergeant Adebowale Ademola, the Investigative Police Officer, told the court that the accused did inform the police that he has his own apartment inÂ the state, but said he was squatting with a brother in Lagos.
Mr. T.A. Abolarinwa, the presiding magistrate of the court, however granted the accused bail, saying the accused cannot be not denied bail because he is notÂ Â a resident of Lagos State
He granted the accused a bail in the sum of N100, 000, with one responsible surety in like sum. He added that the surety must show evidence of livelihood andÂ deposit the sum of N50, 000 to the account of Chief Magistrate of Lagos, while the case was adjourned till 14 February, 2011 for trial.