The Ebonyi State Police Command has arraigned two lovers cohabiting together, Uchenna Elom, 32, and Chinaza Ituma, 24, for alleged stealing and conspiracy.

They were arraigned on Tuesday before an Abakaliki Magistrates’ Court on two counts of conspiracy and stealing.

Elom and Ituma hail from Ovudulagu, Umuogudu Akpu-Ngbo community in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Mbam Chinedu, told the court that the accused persons committed the offences at the United Bank for Africa Plc’s branch in Abakaliki on September 28 and 30, 2019.

Elom was said to have picked a lost Automated Teller Machine card and used same to withdraw money and thereafter gave it to Chinaza, who also withdrew money from the card owner’s account

The unapproved withdrawals, Southern City News gathered, continued until the card owner, one Odechi Godwin, complained to the bank, which alerted the police.

Goodwin, it was learnt, forgot to block the lost ATM card and did not receive alert from his bank, while the illegal withdrawals lasted.

The accused, who were said to have been cohabiting for over five years and have three children together, allegedly used the money to acquire a car, a fridge and other properties.

According to Chinedu, the offences are punishable under sections 516A (a) and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

The charges read, “That you, Uchenna Elom, 34, Chinaza Ituma, and others at large, on September 28 and 30, 2019, at the UBA, Abakaliki, in the Abakaliki Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; stealing, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

That you Uchenna Elom, Chinaza Ituma and others now at large, on the same date, place and in the aforesaid magisterial district, did steal the sum of N1.5m, property of one Odechi Godwin, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”

Chief Magistrate Ngozi Ngele granted the accused bail because they had little children, who were not being looked after by anyone.

They were granted bail in the sum of N500,000 each with one surety in like sum.

The court said the surety must be a civil servant of any grade and must deposit his or her work identity card, GEM 35 and a valid means of identification.

Ngele adjourned the case till November 11, 2019, for hearing.

@ Punch Newspaper

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