Alleged armed robbery: Court orders Zenith bank to produce defendant’s bank statements

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Alleged Armed robbery: court grants order to subpoena Zenith bank.

By Edith Nwapi

An FCT High Court sitting in Nyanya on Thursday ordered Zenith bank plc to tender before it account details of one Obinna Echianu being tried for alleged armed robbery and culpable homicide.

Justice Peter Kekemeke gave the order after Echianu ‘s counsel, Mr Chuma Chukwudi, brought an application asking it to subpoena the bank to produce his client’s bank’s statement to be tendered as exhibit in support his client’s cases.

Echianu, 42, a business man was arraigned alongside one Everly Nnorom, 27, on five counts charges bordering on armed robbery, unlawful possession of firearms and culpable homicide.

The police alleged that on Dec. 25, 2016 at about 7p.m. at Goss pedestrian bridge, Airport Road, the two defendants conspired to rob one Edward Ali of Wuse 2, now deceased.

Police told the court that the duo armed with a revolver pistol and 33 live ammunition shot and killed Ali and collected his Nissan Almera car and his phone.

They further alleged that Echianu was on March 21, 2017, found to be in possession of one Magnum Revolver pistol.

Police told the court that the offences contravened Sections 6 (b), 1 (2), 27 (1)(a)(1)and (2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, 2004 and 221 of the Penal Code.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Echianu, opened his defence after the court rejected his no- case submission application and ordered the accused persons to enter defence.

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Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr Chuma Chukwudi, Echianu, testifying as first defence witness ( (DW1l, told the court that he was an international businesses man.

He said on Dec. 25, 2016, he was driving on the road when police patrol team stopped him.

He told the court that he was searched and 7,000 US dollars and N540,000 currency notes were found in his car pigeon hole.

“They asked me what I do for a living and I told them I am a businessman that I needed to travel.”

The DW1 told the court that the police collected his travel documents and took him to their station.

He testified that the police men checked his phone saw transaction alerts for 20 million in both my Diamond bank and Zenith bank accounts.

“They asked me to negotiate with them and not eat alone. But I told them that I am a business man and I wanted to travel with Air France.

“They started beating me and asked me to bring my money, I told them my account in Diamond is facility account but they continued beating me and asked me to co-operate.

“They took me to my Zenith bank branch at Wuse market on March 13, 2017 handcuffed but on getting there, they removed the handcuffs to enable me withdraw N500,000 for them,” he testified.

He further testified that on either March 16 or March 17, 2017 they again took him to Zenith bank at Wuse 2, opposite Glo office and withdrew N220, 000.

DW1 told the court that the police men kept calling him a fraudster and continued to persuade him to bring the money in Diamond bank for them while they siezed his passport, the 7,000 U.S dollars and N540, 000 cash on March 17, 2017.

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He said the police officers allegedly forced him to sign a written statement after beating him to a pulp.

The witness further testified that police men took him to his residence in Aba, searched and collected his cheques but later allegedly forced him to sign a statement that they recovered a gun and a car in his house.

He said that they brought him back to Abuja after allegedly also forcefully made his mother to sign a written statement.

DW1 said he had never met the second defendant before.

Chukwudi then prayed the court to grant his application for an order of subpoena, ordering Zenith bank to produce his client’s statement of account in court.

Justice Kekemeke granted the application and adjourned hearing until Oct. 28, for continuation of defendant’s case.

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