A former Commissioner of Information and State Orientation in Ebonyi State, Chief Abia Onyike, was on Monday arraigned for failure to pay his tenement rate.
Onyike, it was gathered, had not paid tenement rate on his property situated at Abia Onyike Close, in the Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state since 2018.
Consequently, The PUNCH learnt that he was allegedly ordered to pay N10m for the said property, a development that led him to petition the authorities.
He was arrested and subsequently released by men of the Nigeria Police Force.
He was later arraigned by the police before the Magistrate’s Court on Monday on one count of negligence to pay tenement rate.
The police prosecutor, Inspector Chinedu Mbam, told the court that the offence was punishable under section 32 of the Criminal Code Cap 33 Vol. 1 Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.
The defence counsel applied to the court for the suspect to be admitted to bail.
Mbam opposed the bail application on the grounds that the suspect would truncate further investigation.
But the Chief Magistrate, Nnenna Onuoha, granted the accused person bail in the sum of N200,000.00 and one surety in like sum.
Onuoha said the surety must be a civil servant of Ebonyi State origin and must be at grade level 10 upwards and be resident within the court jurisdiction.
She adjourned the case till March 23, 2020, for hearing.