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Court orders arrest of Senator Uzodinma over N200 million dud cheque

JUSTICE Abdulwahab Mohammed of the Kubwa Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, has ordered the arrest of Hope Uzodinma, senator representing the Orlu Senatorial Zone of Imo State, following an allegation that he issued a N200 million dud cheque.‎

A dud cheque is one that cannot be honoured because the person who wrote it has no money or not enough money in his/her bank account.

Uzodinma was accused of issuing the dud cheque to Chima Akuzie and Chitex Ventures. Also joined as defendants in the suit were two companies, Smiec Engineering and Chemical Construction Company, and Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company.

The prosecution counsel, Oluwatosin Ojaomo, asked the court to invoke the provisions of section 131 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) by issuing a warrant of arrest against the defendant.‎

Ojaomo said the defendants had no reason to be absent in court because they were aware that the case was fixed for September 18 for definite arraignment.

In his ruling, Justice Mohammed recalled that the defendant was absent on the last adjourned date of September 11, but his counsel, Eze Oguaju, had promised to make him available on the next adjourned date.

Mohammed issued a bench warrant against Uzodinma and entered a plea of not guilty for him and the other defendants. He based his decision on section 478 of the ACJA.

The judge adjourned the matter till September 25 for hearing.‎

Uzodimma recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on whose platform he had won two senatorial elections.

The Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act states that anyone who obtains credit for himself or any other person, by issuing a cheque that, when presented for payment not later than three months after issuance, is dishonoured on the ground that no funds or insufficient funds, “shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall – (i) in the case of an individual be sentenced to imprisonment for two years, without the option of a fine.”

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