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Pictures; Video: Nigerian House of Rep Member face Corruption Charge

Nigerian House of Representatives Member, Honourable Herman Hembe in the middle and Nigerian Law enforcement Officials

Image credit: Sahara Reporters

Former chairman of the House of Representatives committee investigating the near collapse of the Nigerian capital market, Hon. Herman Hembe, today appeared before a Federal Capital High Court to answer charges of misappropriation.

Justice Abubakar Umar had last week granted permission to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arraign Hembe and his former Vice Chairman of the committee, Chris Azubogu, over corruption charges.

Hon. Herman Hembe and Hon. Chris Azubogu are being accused of receiving ESTACODE from the Security and Exchange Commission to enable them travel to the Dominican Republic for a conference which they did not attend, and also failed to return the money to the commission.

Following proceedings after his court appearance today, the court adjourned the matter to May 28th for hearing of preliminary objections filed by defense counsel and possible arraignment.

Hembe’s lawyer, Jibril Okutepa told the court that the charges and proof of evidence was only served on the defendant yesterday, and as such, did not meet the required 48 hours before appearance in court.

He further argued that the court did not have the jurisdiction to grant leave to EFCC to proffer charges against them.

Okutepa maintained that there is nondisclosure of a prima facie case in the proof of evidence submitted to the court by the EFCC.

On his part, the counsel for second defendant, Hon. Chris Azubogu, Emeka Etiagba explained to the court that his client was absent in court because he had to attend to security issues in his constituency in Anambra state.

He also objected to the short notice given to his client to appear in court. Emeka Etiagba also argued that the evidence did not show a prima facie case against the accused.

On his part EFCC Counsel Uket, argued that the EFCC served both accused persons with the charges since the 15th of May, through the office of the Clerk of the National Assembly.

He also said the preliminary objections raised by defense counsel was only served to him yesterday, and needed 48 hour to response, asking the court to remand the accused person EFCC custody.

However, the presiding judge ruled that the accused persons have not been charged yet, and should continue to enjoy EFCC administrative bail.
Culled from Daily Trust

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