The trial of the lawmaker representing Estako Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Philip Shaibu, commenced, on Thursday, in a Benin City High Court, Edo State.
Shaibu is facing a six-count charge bordering on forged tax clearance documents in a case brought against him by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Hon Shaibu was alleged to have committed the offence in 2006 in documents he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when he contested for Etsako constituency II seat in the Edo State House of Assembly.
Hon Shaibu, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him. Counsel to Shaibu, Ken Mozia, pleaded before the court for the quashing of the arrest warrant issued against the accused and his surety, Osarodion Ogie. Mozia explained that his client could not attend the previous hearing of the case due to travel difficulties, pointing out that "since the commencement of the trial, the accused person was always in court."
The judge, Justice Esther Ikponmwmen, set aside the arrest warrant and requested for another surety for the accused. She granted the accused bail in the sum of N3 million and a surety in like sum, who must be employed and live in Benin City.
The case was adjourned till February 15 and 16.