PHCN cables theft: 4 remanded in prison custody


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A Federal High Court sitting in Enugu has remanded four accused persons including a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ward chairman, in prison custody for allegedly tampering with electric cables, property of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
The defendants, Emmanuel Okolo, Ude Ifeanyi, Afam Ude and Ifeanyi Okeke, who pleaded not guilty to the charges against them,  failed to obtain bail.
They were charged with, “tampering with electric cables, property of PHCN contrary to Section 19(6) and punishable under Section 9 of the Miscellaneous Offences Act; CAP M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
The charge further read: “That you, Emmanuel Okolo and three others about the 13th day of November, 2013 at about 15:20 hours at Obinofia community in Ezzeagu Local Government Area, Enugu State unlawfully disconnected, removed, tampered or meddled with low-tension  cable wires from transformer of the PHCN.
“That you Emmanuel Okolo and three others did steal four low tension cables valued at N700, 000 property of Power Holding Company of Nigeria Plc, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 9 Miscellaneous Offences Act; CAP M17.”
An oral application for bail by the defense counsel, G.C Gboko, could not be entertained by the court following an objection by the prosecutor that such application should have been put down in writing and properly filed.
The trial judge, D. V Agishi, upheld the objection that the defendants were served arraignment notice in good time and were in a position to do the needful.
She, therefore, ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the matter to November 6, 2014.
One of the accused persons Emmanuel Okolo is a brother to the Enugu State commissioner for Housing and urban Development Hon Victor Okolo while Ude Ifeanyi is the PDP ward ch-rman Obinofia ward.


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