A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has granted the former presidential candidate of the Hope Democratic Party, Chief Ambrose Owuru bail in the sum of ten million naira, (N10, 000, 000) and one surety who must be a lawyer of thirty years post call experience.
Justice Suleiman Aliyu also ordered that the surety must swear an affidavit of means while the accused undertake to be present in court throughout his trial.
Owuru was arraigned on August 2, 2013 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on a 5-count charge that borders on uttering, forgery and obtaining money by false pretence. He allegedly obtained the sum of sixty-six million naira (N66, 000,000.00) from one Ikechukwu Eze through a phony land deal.
The complainant alleged that sometime in March 2011, he paid the sum of sixty million naira (N60m) through Skye Bank, Olu Obansanjo Road branch, Port Harcourt, to Owuru for a property located at Amadi flat, Port Harcourt.
In the process of taking possession of the property, it was discovered that a portion had been sold to another person. At this point, Owuru allegedly asked for another N6m to settle the other buyer which Eze allegedly obliged him.
One of the counts read: “that you, Ambrose Owuru on or about the 7th day of March 2011 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with intent to defraud did obtain the sum of Sixty Million Naira (N60,000,000) from Ikechukwu Eze on the pretence that you have sold to him four (4) plots of land situated at Plot 44A, Amadi Layout- Port Harcourt a pretext which you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(1) (a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.
Another count reads; “that you, Ambrose Owuru on or about the 7th day of March 2011 at Port Harcourt, Rivers State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did utter a forged “Certificate of Occupancy” dated 20th of March 1990 purportedly issued by the Rivers State Lands and Survey covering Plot 44A Amadi Layout, Port Harcourt and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(2) ( c ) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Law of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007, and punishable under section 1(2) of the same Act”.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Justice Aliyu adjourned the case till October 10, 2013 for commencement of trial. The court also ordered that the accused person be remanded in the EFCC custody until he perfects his bail conditions.