IN THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT OF NIGERIA
IN THE ABUJA JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT ABUJA
CHARGE NO: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA } COMPLAINANT
- NNAMDI KANU
- CHIDIEBERE ONWUDIWE
- BENJAMIN MADUBUGWU } 1st DEFENDANT/APPLICANT
- DAVID NWAWUISI
WRITTEN ADDRESS IN SUPPORT OF COUNTER AFFIDAVIT IN OPPOSITION TO THE AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF A MOTION NOTICE BROUGHT BY THE 1st DEFENDANT
- My lord, this is a case of conspiracy to commit treasonable fellony, treasonable fellony and other related offences brought before this Honourable court against the 1ST defendant/applicant and other defendants in this case.
- The 1st defendant anchored his application on the grounds that the proof of evidence supporting the charge has no items constituting the basic ingredients of the offence.
- The application was also brought on the ground that the proof of evidence does not link the 1st defendant with the offence.
- ISSUE FOR DETERMINATION
‘’Whether from the circumstance of this case, this Honourable Court can grant this application to quash the charge against the 4th defendant/’’
- My lord we submit that the charge against the 1st defendant like the other defendants in this case is competent, clear and unambiguous.
- We also submit that the proof of evidence attached to the information has clearly linked the 1st defendant with the charge brought against him.
- My lord all the grounds upon which this application was brought does not fall within the grounds upon which it will be granted.
- My lord, we submit on the authority of EZEZE V STATE (2004) 14 NWLR (Pt 894) CA, 491 and FAWEHINMI V A.G. LAGOS STATE (NO.1) (1989) 3 NWLR (Pt. 112) CA, 707 that a defendant can raise a valid objection to an indictment on the following grounds;
- If the indictment has been preferred otherwise than in accordance with the provision, of the law;
- If it is drafted otherwise than in accordance with the law, for instance, it charges more than one offence in one count;
- It has not been preferred within the time allowed by the law;
- If it has not been signed in accordance with the dictates of the law;
- If it charges an offence that is unknown to law;
- If it charges any offence in respect of which necessary consent to the institution or confirmation of the prosecution has not been obtained;
- If it charges the accused of an offence of which he had already been convicted or acquitted or pardoned;
- If it charges a person who is immune from prosecution or whose acts at the relevant time were not susceptible to the jurisdiction of the court either by reason of age or being in-capable, in law, of committing the offence charged; or
- If it is charges a person who has been extradited from abroad with an offence that was not covered by the extradition proceedings.
- My lord, the Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edition defined indictment as a formal written accusation issued against a person charged with a crime. An indictment is only an accusation; it is the physical means by which a defendant is brought to trial. The sole purpose of indictment is to identify the person’s alleged offence and does not serve as evidence that the offence charged was committed by the defendant.
- In furtherance to the above, Section 221 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 prohibits this kind of objection. It stated as thus;
‘’ objections shall not be taken or entertained during proceeding or trial on the ground of an imperfect charge or erroneous charge’’
- Also, section 396 of ACJA 2015 reinforces this position and we rely on this submission in urging this Honourable court to dismiss this application.
- My lord, it is so clear to us and we urge the court to consider it as such that, this application is frivolous and it is intended to delay the cause of justice in this case hence we urge your lordship to discountenance it.
- My lord a cursory look at the affidavit in support of this application, the court will come to an inevitable conclusion that it contains nothing compelling that will warrant this court to entertain the application let alone granting same.
3.1 My lord we submit that the application has no substance that will warrant this court to exercise its discretion in its favour.
3.2 Based on the facts of this case and the deposition contained in the counter affidavit in opposition to the application, we urge your lordship to refuse the application.
THIS……………………………….DAY OF January, 2017
Director of public Prosecution of the Federation
S.M. LABARAN Esq.
Principal State Counsel,
Department of Public Prosecution,
Federal Ministry of Justice,
For: Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation