Ambrose Ezeanwani, the 32 year old ex-University of Lagos student, an alleged students’ bursary scammer, who also blew the whistle over a purported racket in the students’ bursary scheme in Delta state, has been denied bail and subsequently remanded in Prison custody by a Delta State Magistrate Court
The accused had alleged that the Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Hope Eghagha, was spearheading fraudulent actions in the release of bursary to deserving indigenous students.
Also in a bid to cover up his scams, Ambrose Ezeanwani, who is accused of having inserted several fake names with same bank account numbers on the bursary list, with an intent to earn several hundreds of naira at the expense of the students, whom he was also alleged to have collected N2,000:00 each from, led some students of University of Lagos to demonstrate in Asaba, accusing members of the Board of inserting the names.
Ambrose, who was arraigned at the Delta State Magistrate Court 1, Asaba, on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, was denied bail after pleading ‘Not Guilty’ to a two count charge brought against him by the state prosecution led by Inspector Bassey Eko, the counsel representing the Delta State Commissioner of Police.
The two count charge reads thus: “That you Ezenwani Ambrose ‘M’ on the 24th day of April, 2014, at the Bursary Board, Asaba, in the Asaba Magistrate Diststrict, did publish false defamatory matter against National Association Delta State Students (NADESSTU) over Bursary controversy, which publication you know to be false or does not exist and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 375 of the criminal code law Cap C21 Vol1 laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006
“Count II: That you Ezenwani Ambrose ‘M’ between the month of July 2012 and April 2014, in the aforementioned Magistrate District, did present yourself falsely with intent to defraud and obtained various sum of money in thousands of Naira from Members of NADESSTU, University of Lagos and Delsu in a pretext to facilitate their bursary allowances which representation you know to be false or does not believe it to exist and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 419 of the criminal code Law CAP. C21 Vol 1 law of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.”
Pat Adigwe, Counsel to Ambose Ezenwani had briefly pleaded with the Court to grant bail to her client but the presiding judge had rejected the bail request in a ruling that lasted less than five minutes.
According to the judge, the decision to refuse bail to the applicant was based on the present prevailing circumstances where high placed individuals were libeled and defamed by what he referred to as backyard and low quality gutter publications amongst others and by the powers conferred on him to express his discretion on the matter in consonance with the provisions of “section 375 of the criminal code law Cap C21 Vol1 laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006 and section 419 of the criminal code Law CAP. C21, Vol 1 law of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006, I hereby remand Ambrose Ezenwani in Prison Custody”.
The case was then adjourned till May 9, 2014.
Recall that Ambrose Ezenawni, an ex-student of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), was on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 apprehended and detained at the Sabo Police Station in Lagos before he was later handed over to men from the Delta State Police Command for onward prosecution, after his transfer to Asaba, Delta State.
The Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Hope Eghagha was said to have briefed his legal counsel to explore the possibility of taking legal action against Ambrose Ezenwani in a bid to clear his name and address the allegations leveled against him and also set the records straight on the activities of the Delta State Bursary scheme.
The matter which came up on Wednesday April 30, 2014 at the Asaba Magistrate Court 1 is said to be a follow up to that legal consultation by Eghagha.
Meanwhile the National Association Delta State Students (NADESSTU), has issued a strongly worded statement explaining why it decided to affect the arrest of Ambrose Ezenwani, a 32 year old ex-student of the University of Lagos, over recent allegations and counter-allegations in the Delta State Bursary Scheme.
The statement, which was made available to Blank NEWS Online and signed by Obiri Ebilade, National President of NADESSTU reads thus:
As a result of the various misconceptions surrounding the arrest of Mr. Ambrose Ezenweani, I have decided to break my silence and set the following facts straight;
1. That Ambrose Ezenweani was arrested by NADESSTU because he collected money from several Students in the guise of registering them for bursary and never did, thereby causing so much unrest from the students who paid money to him but were not registered. The Students wrote petitions to us, indicating their matriculation number and the amount they paid to Ambrose, and it was only proper in such a circumstance that we took lawful means to bring him to book, hence the arrest.
2. That Ambrose Ezenweani has been using the name of NADESSTU to cause several problems. He is no more a Student of University of Lagos as he claimed in the kangaroo protest he staged in Lagos, reported by the media to have been attended by fewer than 10 persons, yet poses as Student to stage a protest because, the fraudulent names he registered with his bank account number was fished out and the Scholarship Board refused payment. I even visited the Dean of University of Lagos and he corroborated it that Anbrose is no more their Student since 2011. The problems of NADESSTU should be left alone for Students and I have not for once believed that Ambrose has any business with NADESSTU after his graduation and does not have the loco standi, to use the name of NADESSTU for any purpose as he was not conferred with the title of Life Member of NADESSTU, but because to him NADESSTU is a business and looking for a job to do after graduation is not even an option.
3. That Ambrose Ezenweani registered alot of fraudulent names in the bursary to divert money meant for students to his private pockets, which initially was not our business, but with the way he is negatively dragging the name of NADESSTU to it, we have no option than to take precautionary measures. He raised false alarm that there was fraud in the Scholarship Board perpetuated by the Honourable Commissioner Prof. Hope Eghagha and the Scholarship Board Chairman Mosignor Buchi Aninye and upon investigation by the EFCC, it was discovered that Ambrose was the actual fraud, hence he was detained by the EFCC for one week, but later released to report back to the EFCC, when he pleaded that he was an NYSC Candidate who needed to do his clearance. The EFCC thereafter arrested his surety when Ambrose jumped bail by refusing to report as ordered by the EFCC. The question is why did Ambrose refuse to report back to the EFCC, if his hands were truly clean?
4. Finally, I challenge Ambrose to sue me as a person for defamation of character, if any of the above facts presented by me here are lies deliberately fabricated to tarnish his image or sue NADESSTU as an entity if any of his rights have been breached for arresting him.
Aluta Continua!!! Victoria Acerta!!!