A Magistrates’ Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia state capital, has granted one Eme Uche bail in a case where he was accused of stealing the sum of N10m from his employer.
Uche, who was a manager at the Forte Oil filling station at Igbere in the Bende Local Area Government of the state, was accused of selling petroleum products belonging to his employer without remitting the money to the owner of the firm.
He was charged to court on two counts of conspiracy and theft.
“You, Eme Uche, and others now at large in January 2019 conspired and stole petroleum products belonging to Chief Agu U. Agu to the tune of N10m,” the charges read in part.
The accused, who is also an employee of the state Ministry of Health, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Counsel to the accused, Mr Mike Nwankwo, applied for bail on behalf of the suspect, stating that the court had jurisdiction to grant him bail on the matter.
The police prosecutor, Augustine Udom, however, objected to the bail application, saying the suspect had remained deviant.
The prosecutor said, “Since the year 2017, the accused has been in the attitude of stealing from his boss.
“He had stolen the sum of N7m on two occasions in the past and he was forgiven, but the sum of N10m is a huge an amount to part with.”
The presiding chief magistrate, Mr Grace Ohaeri, said the offence attracted a bail, adding that the court would not want to be seen as punishing the accused by not granting him bail.
He granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum, one of whom must be a civil servant, who must submit two passport photographs as well as reside within the court’s jurisdiction, adding that the police must verify the address.
He added that the second surety must present evidence of tax payment with two passport photographs and must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.