One Emmanuel Sanikpege has been arraigned by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for forging a document he used to stand surety for a suspect, Umor Bright.
EFCC, in a statement on its social media handles on Tuesday, said Sanikpege was arraigned on October 31, 2023, before Justice P. I. Ajoku of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He was accused and dragged to court for “forging a letter of attestation and presenting himself as a surety to bail one Umor Bright, a suspect under investigation by the EFCC.”
The defendant was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on forgery.
The offence, the commission said, was contrary to Section 1(2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act (CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007, adding that it was punishable under Section 1 (2) of the same act.
One of the charges read partly: “That you Emmanuel Sanikpege on or about the 22nd day of August, 2022, at Port Harcourt, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make a forged document to wit: LETTER OF ATTESTATION RE: Emanuel Sanikpege purportedly from Government Senior Secondary School, Oyigbo, Rivers State, a document which you knew was forged; with intent that the document be acted upon by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as original and genuine; and thereby committed an offence.”
The defendant had pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, and the prosecution counsel, B. O. Agala, sought a date for the commencement of trial.
But counsel to Sanikpege, T. Musa, urged the court to grant the defendant bail to enable him to prepare for his trial.
Ajoku granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1 million and two sureties in like sum, who must be civil servants on grade level 12 and above and must own a landed property in Port Harcourt with certificates of occupancy to be deposited with the court.
The case has been adjourned till March 12, 2024, for commencement of trial.