By Tony Ehighiale, Benin 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Matters Commission (ICPC) has commenced trial in a forgery case preferred against the member representing Estako Federal Constituency

ICPC begins trial against Edo lawmaker over forgery 

By Tony Ehighiale, Benin 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Matters Commission (ICPC) has commenced trial in a forgery case preferred against the member representing Estako Federal Constituency

in the House of Representatives, Hon Philip Shaibu. 

The commission had slammed a six count charge against Shaibu bordering on forging tax documents. 

ICPC alleged he committed the offence in 2006 while contesting a seat in the State House of Assembly. 

Part of the charges alleged that he had in November 2006 lied to officers of the Edo state Board of Internal Revenue that he was an employee of  Zaknote Nigeria Ventures limited from 2003 to 2006 to fraudulently obtain a tax clearance certificate from the revenue board.

Hon Shaibu pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him. 

Before his plea was taken, his counsel, Ken Mozia, had pleaded before the court for the arrest warrant issued against the accused and his surety, Hon Osarodion Ogie, be quashed. 

Mozia told the court that the surety was not aware that the accused person was not present in court. 

He said the surety was present in court at the previous hearing. 

Mozia said Hon Shaibu was not present because of traffic difficulties from Abuja to Benin. 

His words, “Since the commencement of the trial, the accused person was always in court. He came to court on his own without being charged.” 

“The accused person missed his flight on the 13th and he opted to use road on the 14th but was held up in traffic in Lokoja”. 

He however urged the court to grant the accused bail on self recognition. 

Presiding Judge, Justice Esther Ikponmwmen, set aside the arrest warrant and asked for another surety to bail the Hon Shaibu. 

Justice Edigin refused the bail on self recognition because of difficulty in getting the accused person to court. 

She granted the accused bail in the sum of N3m and a surety in like sum who must be employed and live in Benin City. 

 

The case was adjourned to 15th and 16th of February, 2016.

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