Umuahia - A member of the Abia State House of Assembly, Ikedi Ezekwesiri, has been re-arraigned before an Umuahia Magistrates' Court over alleged perjury and impersonation.
Ezekwesiri, who represents Umunneochi Constituency, was oarraigned on a five-count charge, including impersonation, forgery and false information.
But when the matter, pending before Magistrate Elizabeth Kalu, came up for hearing on Wednesday, the prosecution counsel, Sampson Onyemuche, applied to substitute the charge. Isaac Anya, the defense counsel, did not object to the application for substitution.
The additional charge claimed that Ezekwesiri had pretended be a legal practitioner or that he was qualified by law to practice as a legal practitioner.
Onyemuche said that this was punishable under Section 22 of the Legal Practitioners Act Cap L. 11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
When the amended charges were read, the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
On the date of his first arraignment, he was also alleged to have given false testimony in a judicial proceeding in the High Court Registry before the Commissioner for Oaths.
The prosecution said the false testimony was to enable him to contest for a seat in the state assembly elections.
Ezekwesiri was also alleged to have fraudulently altered the INEC Form CF 001 during investigations by the police by inserting the word ‘business man’ instead of ‘legal practitioner’ as earlier professed.
He was reputed to have fraudulently presented to INEC and the police during investigation, a Bachelor’s Degree in Law certificate bearing Eze Ikedichi, awarded an honours degree, third class, by the Abia State University.
The matter has been adjourned to 25 September for hearing.