A former Commissioner representing Imo State at the National Population Commission, NPC, Mr. Joe Ndu was today, October 23, 2013, arraigned before the Federal High Court, Owerri on one count charge for allegedly converting and selling a property belonging to the Federal Government for N7million.
The charge reads, “that you Joe C. Ndu, on or about the 29th December 2011 in Owerri, Imo State, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court of Nigeria with intent to defraud, obtained the sum of Seven Million Naira under the false pretence that you (and two others) have the mandate and consent of the National Population Commission to sell National Population Commission landed Property located at Plot 5028 Commercial Area, New Owerri, Owerri, Imo State, covered by statutory certificate of Occupancy dated 27th May 2011, registered as No. 90 page 90 volume of Lands Registry, Imo State which pretence 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(13)of the same Act.

 
The said plot was allegedly allocated to the Commission to build its Owerri office by the Imo state government but by the time the Commission was ready to develop the property, it was discovered that someone had taken over the land.

A researcher at the Lands Registry Owerri revealed that the land had been transferred by Joe C. Ndu, the suspect via Power of Attorney dated 29th December, 2011, to one Emmanuel C. Eke. The sale of the property was conducted after Ndu had completed his tenure as the Federal Commissioner representing Imo State at the National Population Commission.

When the charge was read to the accused, he pleaded not guilty.

The prosecuting counsel Mainforce Adaka Ekwu then asked the court to fix a date for trial but counsel to the accused, N. A. Nnawuchi (SAN) urged the court to grant bail to his client.

However, Justice S.M. Shuiabu asked the defence counsel to present formal bail application and remanded the accused in EFCC custody pending the hearing of the bail application.

The case was adjourned to October 30, 2013.
 
Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media and Publicity
23rd October, 2013

 

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