The police have opposed moves by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to take over the prosecution of a former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, who was charged with harrassmsent and criminal intimidation of his former mistress, Chinyere Amuchienwa.
A lawyer from the AGF’s office, Bagudu Sani, on Thursday, appeared before the Federal High Court in Abuja, announcing the decision of the office to take over the case from the police which instituted the charges in November last year.
The move was opposed by the lawyer to the police, R.F Dimka.
PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported in details the dirty fight between Mr Ohakim and Ms Amuchienwa.
An offshoot of the dirty fight is also pending before Federal Capital Territory (FCT), High Court in Maitama, Abuja, where the police had on November 11, 2020, arraigned Mr Ohakim on charges of giving false information against Ms Amuchienwa.
PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately verify if the the AGF is similarly taking steps to take over the case at the FCT High Court.
Mr Ohakim, who was governor of Imo State from 2007 to 2011, and his co-defendant, Chinedu Okpareke, were scheduled to be arraigned on five counts before the Federal High Court on Thursday.
But the judge, Taiwo Taiwo, had to defer the arraignment following the dispute arising from the AGF’s move to take over the prosecution from the police.
“The office of the AGF has taken over prosecution of the case from the police via a letter dated March 17, 2021,” Mr Sani said after the matter was called on Thursday.
He said the letter had been sent to the IGP whom he said had also acknowledged receiving it.
But opposing the taking over move, the police lawyer, Ms Dimka, said the police were the complainant in the case and were responsible for the filing of the charges.
The judge then asked the lawyer from the AGF office to serve copies of the letter sent to the IGP on all the parties to the case.
He also asked parties to file written addresses on the issue to enable him to take a decision on the propriety of the AGF office’s moves to take over the case.
The judge adjourned the case till May 6.
The police, in the case marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/287/2020, accused Mr Ohakim and his co-accused, Mr Okpareke, of harassing, intimidating and bullying Ms Amuchienwa.
In the charges dated November 25, 2020, the police alleged that Messrs Ohakim and Okpareke, “knowingly and intentionally transmitted communication through a computer system to harass and bully” Ms Amuchienwa, an alleged offence said to be punishable under Section 24(1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.
Part of the charges read, ”That you Chinendu Okpareke ‘m’ 49, and Ikedi Ohakim ‘m’ and others now at large on Aug. 13, 2020 within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves by knowingly and intentionally sending messages by means of computer system or network in a grossly offensive, pornographic, nude of an indecent obscene and menacing character of one Chinyere Amuchienwa ‘f’ and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.
”That you Chinendu Okpareke ‘m’ 49, and Ikedi Ohakim ‘m’ and others now at large on Aug. 13, 2020 within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves to cause annoyance and criminal intimidation to one Chinyere Amuchienwa ‘f’ and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.”
FCT court charges
In the charges pending at the FCT High Court, Mr Ohakim was accused of giving false information against Ms Amuchienwa.
The prosecution alleged in the case marked CR/993/2020 that Mr Ohakim gave false informarion that Ms Amuchienwa threatened him with a gun.
It also alleged that the ex-governor made a false claim to her that he had a plot of land for sale in Lagos State.
Mr Ohakim was equally alleged to have unlawfully used “the name of Raji Fashola as the owner of the purported land situated at Ikeja, Lagos State.”
The offences were said to be punishable under various provisions of the Penal Code Law of the Northern Nigeria, 1968.
The former governor was arraigned before Samira Bature of the FCT High Court, Maitama, on November 11, 2020 and was immediately granted bail by the judge.
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