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A bricklayer who hails from Benin Republic and currently resides in Anambra State has been summoned to appear before the Nnobi Chief Magistrate Court in Idemili South Local Government Area.
The allegations lodged against him involve defrauding Miss Victoria Mbachu, an orphan, of her inherited property worth N10 million.
In an alleged partnership with a 65-year-old native doctor named Chijioke Okaa, the Beninese individual, working as a bricklayer in Nnobi, reportedly forged a Nigerian passport and adopted the identity of Olufemi Salako in July 2020.
Upon committing the offense, Salako went into hiding and was declared wanted by law enforcement.
In a surprising turn of events, Miss Mbachu, the orphan who had been in a relationship with Salako and had two children with him, cunningly persuaded him to return to Anambra State to testify against the native doctor. However, he was remanded in prison custody on Friday.
Unbeknownst to Salako, he had been staying with Mbachu and their children in an Awka hotel, completely unaware of the impending events at the Magistrate Court.
Salako appeared to be in high spirits during the trip from Awka to Nnobi, but his mood changed abruptly upon the reading of the charges against him.
Mr. Ifeanyi Eze, the Police prosecutor, informed the court that the amended charge in the case between the Commissioner of Police and Chijioke Peter Okaa now includes Olufemi Salako, resulting in the expansion of the initial five-count charge.
As stated by the prosecutor, Okaa and Salako faced charges for their alleged involvement in attempting to commit a felony. Their actions were said to involve coercing Miss Nzube Victoria Mbachu, an orphan, into modifying a title document for her land in Okaa’s favor. The alleged incident occurred between July 2020 and October 2021 in Nnobi.
Eze, the prosecutor, claimed that Salako and Okaa conspired to entice Nzube by making promises to her.
These promises involved building a house for her, arranging her relocation from her family compound, and providing her with additional financial aid.
As per the prosecutor’s argument, the accused individuals are alleged to have unlawfully and forcefully entered the said land, thereby committing an offense that is punishable under Section 496 (a) of the Criminal Code Law Cap 36, Volume II, Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 1991, as amended.
Eze, the prosecutor, asserted that the accused parties willfully and unlawfully caused damage to an established property owned by Bonaventure Ezekwenna, which was located on the land in question.
According to the prosecution, Okaa forcefully entered the property that was lawfully and peacefully possessed by Ezekwenna, utilizing a survey plan with the designation GEO-B/AN425/2021.
The prosecutor further stated that the accused individuals employed a deceitful tactic to persuade Nzube that the deaths in her family were caused by their place of abode. This manipulation successfully compelled her to hand over the title document.
When confronted with the charges, Olufemi Salako asserted his innocence and entered a plea of not guilty to all the charges tendered.
In his statement, Eze drew attention to the risks involved in granting bail to Olufemi Salako, saying, ‘the second accused person is from Republic of Benin and can jump bail.’
Chief Magistrate Ken Nwoye, after a thorough examination of the amended five-count charge, decided to grant Salako bail with a bond of N1.5 million. However, the bail conditions specified that a surety, who must be a native of Nnobi, should be provided.
Taking into account the need to validate the address provided by the surety, Nwoye adjourned the matter to July 28, allowing for a definite hearing.