The dethroned Ologbotsere of Warri Kingdom, Ayiri Emami, was on Wednesday arraigned by the police before a Warri South Chief Magistrates’ Court in Delta State for allegedly stealing two royal crowns valued at N2bn.
In the case with reference No: CR630/2021, the embattled Warri chief, who is a renowned billionaire businessman, was slammed with three counts of conspiracy, burglary and stealing.
The offences, according to the police prosecutor, are punishable under sections 411, 516 and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol. 1, Laws of Delta State, 2006.
When the prosecutor read the charges to him, Emami pleaded not guilty.
According to the charges, Emami allegedly conspired with others now at large to break into the palace of the Olu of Warri to steal two royal crowns valued at N2bn, being property of the Itsekiri Kingdom.
Emami and his accomplices allegedly committed the offence on March 30, 2021 around 11.30pm.
The lead counsel for the accused, Mr Emmanuel Uti, urged the court to grant his client bail, noting that he was willing and ready to appear in court any time he was called upon to do so.
The police prosecutor, SP Sunday Irabor, stated that the discretion of granting bail was that of the court, but appealed for stringent bail conditions and reliable sureties.
Mr Fabius Atie represented the Olu of Warri Palace during the proceedings.
After listening to the parties, Chief Magistrate Diejomaoh granted the accused bail in the sum of N2m with two sureties.
“The sureties must be at Grade Level 15 in the civil service; they must provide their passports and body photographs as well as national means of identification,” the chief magistrate ruled.
The case was then adjourned till January 19, 2022 for further hearing.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the court session, Emami blamed some prominent Itsekiri chiefs for his travail.
He stated that his arraignment would not stop him from pursuing cases he had instituted in various courts challenging the selection and emergence of Ogiame Atuwatse lll as the Olu of Warri.
Emami vowed to pursue the cases to a logical conclusion to clear his name in the case of invasion of the palace and theft of the royal crowns.