The Nigerian Police on Wednesday withdrew the 90-count charge instituted against the National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dickson Akoh, and replaced it with a 13-count charge.
The police also applied for the amendment ahead of hearing of the charge by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The police have been having a running battle with the Peace Corps Commandant in the last one year, culminating in his arrest alongside 49 other members of the corps on February 28.
No reason was given by the police for the amendment of the 90-count charge.
It was however gathered that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, had earlier this year faulted the charges brought against Mr. Akoh as bogus.
It was gathered that the AGF found that most of the counts were duplicated.
The police filed the charges after invading the head office of the peace corps on February 28 during its official commissioning in Abuja.
A team of legal experts put in place by the AGF to review the 90-count charge was said to have advised that the charges be compressed to 13.
Although the trial of Mr. Akoh was slated for Wednesday, a counsel from the AGF office, TVC Kuku, informed Justice John Tsoho that the prosecution had amended the charge to 13.
The counsel pleaded with the judge to grant an adjournment in the matter to enable the defendant be served with the amended charge in line with the provision of the law.
The counsel to the defendant, John Ochogwu, did not object to the request for adjournment.
The Police had earlier in the year frozen 24 accounts in various commercial banks in Nigeria, belonging to the commandant and other officers of the Corps in various states of the federation.
Justice Tsoho had set aside the orders of a Magistrate Court in Wuse and that of the Federal High Court freezing of the accounts.
The judge, while vacating the order, held that police engaged in gross abuse of court process on the ground that similar order freezing the PCN accounts was obtained at a Magistrate Court in Wuse, Abuja, and was set aside by the same magistrate court following a counter motion of the PCN.
The judge said it was wrong of the police to have suppressed facts on the magistrate court matter before approaching the Federal High Court for the same order to freeze the accounts.
“From whatever way the matter is looked, the police acted in bad faith against the court,” Justice Tsoho said and ordered the commercial banks to unfreeze the accounts.
After the court reconvened on Wednesday afternoon, the Nigerian Police brought an application to seal the National Headquarters of the Peace Corps.
The corps, through its counsel, Kanu Agabi, had filed a motion on notice on October 6, 2017, seeking an order of the court to unseal its office located at No 57 Iya Abubakar Crescent, off Alex Ekwueme way, opposite Jabi Lake, Jabi, Abuja.
In a motion by J. Idachaba, the police claimed the property of the peace corps was ill gotten and should not only be sealed by the order of the court, but it should also be temporarily forfeited.
He denied the allegations that the office had been sealed ab initio, saying the defendant could not produce any evidence to compel the court to believe that the office was sealed.
The presideing judge, Mr. Tsoho reserved judgement till January 15 2017, on the respective applications submitted by both the corps and the Nigerian Police.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...