The trial of a former Chief Judge of Enugu State, Professor Innocent
Azubike Umezulike who was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC for false declaration of assets began on Monday,
April 24, 2017 at the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt,
At the commencement of the trial Monday,
prosecution witness, Usman Adoke, an operative of the EFCC, during
examination by the prosecution counsel. Ahmedu Arogha, told the court
that Plots 312 and 767 Independence Layout Enugu belonged to the
defendant but that he did not disclose his interest in the property in
the Asset Declaration Form he filled at the EFCC. He further told the
court that his team wrote the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Ministry of
Lands, Enugu for information on the property. He said a response from
the Ministry of Lands Enugu indicated that the former Chief Judge was
the owner of the said plots of land.
Professor Umezulike was
arraigned on a four count charge of non-disclosure of asset and false
declaration of assets on March 16, 2017 before Justice J. K. Omotosho of
the Federal High Court Port Harcourt.
He pleaded not guilty to
the charge and was subsequently granted bail on self-recognition in the
sum of N2 million. He was also ordered to deposit his international
passport with the court.
Count one of the charge read: “That you
Innocent Azubike Umezulike on or about the 16th day of February 2017 at
Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court knowingly
failed to make disclosure of your asset to wit: Plot 312 Independence
Layout Enugu and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section
27(3)(a)of the Economic and Financial Crimes (Establishment) Act 2004
and punishable under Section 27(3)(c)of the same Act”.
The case has been adjourned to May 8, 9 and 10 for continuation of trial.