From Duncan Odey
Today (18th March, 2021) at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Justice Taiwo Taiwo adjourned hearing on a Motion filed by Nigeria Police, seeking a discontinuance of Charges it had filed against Dr Ikedi Ohakim, former Governor of Imo State.
The Charges bordered on allegations by one Chinyere Amuchinwa that her nude video was photoshopped, which allegation had prompted a suit by Barrister Aloy Ejimakor for enforcement of Ohakim’s fundamental rights and for discontinuance of the Charges against him.
At the hearing in Court, a mild drama ensued when a Lawyer from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation appeared in Court with a Letter written to CP Legal, Nigeria Police, indicating that the AGF desires to take over the matter. The Letter was dated 17th March, 2021, two days after the discontinuance was filed in Court by the Police on 15th March, 2021.
Having listened to Counsels interested in the matter, the Court adjourned the case to 6th May, 2021 and directed that all parties interested should file written address before then.
It will be recalled that the FCT High Court had on 16th March granted a similar discontinuance of a case against Ohakim and entered an Order discharging and acquitting him. The Charges were also brought at the instance of the same Chinyere Amuchinwa.
When this correspondent contacted Barrister Ejimakor, Ohakim’s Lawyer and asked for clarifications, he said that “it is counter-procedural for the office of the Attorney-General to move to take over a case that has been discontinued by a Prosecutor, acting pursuant to his powers under Section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act”.
Barrister Ejimakor added that “the direction by the Court for parties to file written addresses is an opportunity for the Police to publicly ventilate the evidence upon which it grounded the discontinuance”.
Ejimakor added that “such evidence will usually comprise of new information that exculpated Dr Ohakim to the point of making the case against him fatally unsustainable”.