The Police in Edo on Wednesday arraigned two men: Uyi Jeffrey, 23, and Ernest Nwankwo, 37, before an Ogbeson Chief Magistrates’ Court in Benin City for alleged theft of 1,680 empty crates of Heineken beer bottles.
The prosecutor, Insp. Charity Asemota said that the defendants were being tried on a four-count charge bothering on: conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen property.
She said that the defendants committed the offenses between Feb.12 and Feb.15, at Okigwe in Imo.
The prosecutor said that Jeffrey, a driver, was employed by Odugwu Zebeson International Ltd., located at Kilometer 10, Benin/Agbor road, Ikpoba-Hill Benin City.
She said that Jeffrey who was in charge of the truck with plate number: No XF 839 NSH, stole 1,680 empty crates of Heineken bottles loaded in his truck by taking them to Nwankwo.
The prosecutor said that Nwankwo, unlawfully, received and kept the goods in his possession.
She said that the empty crates valued N3.1 million were the property of Mr. Odogwu Zebedee, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Company.
She said that the offenses contravened Sections 516 and 390 (8)(9) and 427 of the Criminal Code, Laws of the defunct Bendel State, 1976, now applicable in Edo.
The prosecutor said that if found guilty of stealing, the defendant risks a seven-year jail term.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.
The Chief Magistrate, Prince Mutairu Oare, admitted the defendants to an N200, 000 bail with two sureties in like sum.
He said that one of the sureties must be a responsible public servant and depose to an affidavit of means.
Oare also said that the sureties must deposit two recent passport photographs of themselves and that of the defendants with the court.
He added that information about the sureties’ residences and places of work should be verified by the court registrar.
The chief magistrate, thereafter, adjourned the case until July 13 for further hearing.