Man arraigned for “adjusting” pre-paid metre

Feb 8 2017 - 9:26am

A prepaid metre:

The Police on Tuesday arraigned a middle-aged man, Christian Okoli before an Upper Area Court, in Karu, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) of the FCT for allegedly adjusting his pre-paid meter.

Okoli was accused of adjusting the pre-paid meter issued to him by Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and illegally consumed 14, 328 kw/h of electricity valued at about N525,000 without paying.

The Police FIR dated Feb, 7 said that Mr Otuok Oselumese of the AEDC reported the matter to the police on Dec. 19, 2016.

The FIR said Oselumesa told the police that the defendant adjusted his pre-paid meter on Nov. 28, 2016.

Okolo was accused of cheating, an offence that ran contrary to Section 322 of the Penal Code Law.

Okolo however pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him by the Police.

Mr Tony Ogbulafor, the defendant’s counsel prayed the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms.

While arguing the bail application, Ogbulafor said the defendant was a family man and would be present in court to face trial if granted bail.

The counsel told the court that the defendant is presumed innocent in law until proven otherwise by the prosecution.

Ogbulafor promised that his client would not commit any offence if granted bail.

He reminded the court that the Police had already completed investigation in the matter and there was no likelihood of the defendant interfering with investigation.

Opposing the application for bail, the prosecution counsel, Mr Mahmud Lawal described the offence committed by Okolo as `grievous.’

He said though the court had the discretion to grant bail, there were certain conditions that must be met before bail could be granted.

Lawal prayed the court to refuse the bail application brought before it by the defendant.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Hassan Ishaq granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500, 000 and two sureties in like sum.

He said one of the sureties must be a civil servant of not less than grade level 10 while the second surety must be a businessman.

The judge ordered that the two sureties must  reside within the jurisdiction of the court.

He also ordered that the sureties should deposit their passport photographs, national identity card or drivers license with the registrar of the court.

The judge adjourned the matter till April 4, for hearing. (NAN)

 

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