School principal docked over demolition of fence
Patrick Owoh, 56, the Principal of New Haven Secondary School, Enugu, was on Wednesday arraigned in an Enugu North Magistrates’ Court for alleged demolition of a fence valued at N1.5million.
Owoh pleaded not guilty to the four-count-charge bordering on conspiracy, malicious damage, assault and forgery, levelled against him.
He averred that the plot situated at CR/8 New Town Layout was part of the school’s property.
The principal said he was surprised to find a fence construction going on in some parts on the school land without his consent, and ordered the workers to stop work immediately.
In his submission, the complainant, Reuben Irabor, denied any previous knowledge of the land belonging to the school, because he did his search before erecting the structure.
Irabor said: “I did not complain that Mr Owoh forged the survey papers, but the police that wrote the charge sheet can explain that.
“I knew the school is a government school, but I did not approach the Post Primary School Management Board because I did not know they could help.
“When my bricklayer called me, I heard the principal in the background threatening to break the fence if the work continues.”
However, the defence counsel, Okechukwu Edeh denied that the principal pulled down the fence, because the masons stopped work as the principal directed.
Edeh said that the complainant only told the police and the court what he heard from his bricklayer because he was not at the scene.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Cajetan Ugwu, explained that his subsequent witnesses would shed more light on the charge bothering on forgery.
The Magistrate, Lawrence Ukpai adjourned the matter till November 21 for further hearing.