Two drivers, Farouk Adamu and Adams Baba, appeared before a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday for allegedly stealing a N3.8 million Toyota Hilux in Otukpo Town in Benue.
The vehicle belongs to Rev. Fr. Francis Atama of Catholic Bishop’s House, Otukpo.
The defendants, who had no fixed address, are standing trial on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and theft.
The Prosecutor, Sgt. Isaac Ogwuche, told the court that the case was transferred from the Otukpo Divisional Police Headquarters via a letter to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Makurdi on Jan 13 for investigation.
According to Ogwuche, one Owoicho Abah reported at the police station on January 7 that a Toyota Takoma Hilux, with Reg. No. LND 190 BL, valued at N3.8 million and belonging to the cleric was stolen.
He said that Abah further reported that the vehicle was parked at ASA Lane, opposite Eyum Memorial Event Centre, Otukpo, when the defendants allegedly broke into it and drove off to an unknown destination.
The prosecutor said the defendants were arrested during police investigation and the vehicle was recovered from them.
He further said the offences are punishable under Sections 97 and 288 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read out to them.
The prosecutor said that investigation is still in progress and applied for adjournment.
The Magistrate, Mrs Joy Ayia, granted the application for adjournment and admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N50,000 and two sureties each.
Ayia later adjourned the matter to February 1 for hearing. (NAN)