The trail- within-trial in the case of fraud brought against one Etakewen Ovie by the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, could not go on Monday following the defence's application for adjournment on health grounds.
However, Justice M. L Abubakar of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, River State, granted Ovie bail in the sum of One Million Naira (N1000,000.00), one surety in like sum, who must be a Civil Servant of Level 10 or above. The surety must deposit two recent passport photographs with the Court and should be verified by the prosecution.
At the last hearing on June 23, 2020, Ovie who specializes in identity theft and hacking into the facebook accounts of people, claimed that his statement which the prosecution counsel, F.C. Fedinard sought to tender as an exhibit before the court was induced by the Commission. The claim forced the prosecution counsel to ask for an adjournment till today, June 29, 2020 for a trial- within- trial.
At resumed hearing on Monday, defense counsel, Kingdom Chukwuezie said that he was not ready to proceed due to health- related issues and asked for an adjournment.
Justice Abubakar adjourned the matter to July 10,2020 and ordered that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody pending perfection of his bail terms.
Ovie was arraigned on June 11, 2020 and pleaded ‘not guilty’ to two- count charges bordering on identity theft and impersonation contrary to Section 12 (1) of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015 and punishable under same Section of the same Act.
One of the counts read :“That you Etakewen Lucky Ovie (aka Liam Denzel Marcellino, Thomas Morrisesey) sometime in 2019 at Choba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did unlawfully intercept and hacked into a facebook account of one Divine with intent to use it for fraudulent purposes and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 12 (1) of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 and punishable under same Section of the same Act".
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