A Warri Chief Magistrate’s Court has arraigned the deposed Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Ayiri Emami, over alleged stealing of two royal crowns worth N2 billion belonging to Warri Kingdom.
Chief Ayirimi was arraigned by the police on Wednesday on three count charges of conspiracy, burglary and stealing with reference case No: CR630/2021.
The billionaire businessman, who was charged along with others now at large, allegedly committed the offence about 11.30 pm on March 30 this year in the palace of the Olu of Warri.
The charges read, “That you Chief Ayirimi Emami (m) and others now at large on 30th of March, 2021 at about 11:30 pm at Olu of Warri Palace, Warri did conspire among yourselves to commit felony, to wit, Burglary and Stealing and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta 2006.
“That you Chief Ayirimi Emami (m) and others now at large on 30th of March, 2021 at about 11:30 pm at Olu of Warri Palace, Warri, in Warri in Warri Magisterial District, with intent to commit a felony broke into a dwelling house of the Olu of Warri and thereby committed an Offence Punishable Under Section 411 of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta 2006.
“That you Ayirimi Emami (m) and others now at large on the 30th March, 2021 at about 11:30 pm at Olu of Palace, Warri, in Warri Magisterial District did steal two crowns valued at Two Billion Naira, properties of Itsekiri Kingdom and thereby committed an Offence Punishable Under Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta 2006.”
Ayirimi pleaded not guilty to the three charges, and his lead counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Uti, urged the court to grant his client bail, saying that the accused was willing and ready to appear in court any time he was called to appear.
Police prosecuting counsel, SP Sunday Irabor, asserted that the discretion of granting bail lied within the court. He, however, called for a stringent bail condition, stressing that the sureties must be reliable.
Chief Magistrate Diejomaoh granted the accused bail with two sureties and N2 million each.
The sureties, she ruled, must be on Grade Level 15 in the civil service and they must provide their passports and body photographs as well as National means of identification.
The case was adjourned till January 19, 2022, for further hearing.
This comes a few days after Olu of Warri, His Majesty Ogiame Atuwatse III, asked the people of Itsekiri nation to stop addressing Chief Ayirimi Emami as the Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom.