By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
Justice Taiwo Oladipupo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, struck out a criminal charge filed against a former Governor of Imo state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim by the Federal Government.
Ohakim and one Chinedu Okpaleke were being prosecuted by the Federal Government for allegedly threatening to release nude photographs of an Abuja based lady, Chinyere Amuchienwa, if she fails to drop charges of attempted kidnap against them.
Following a petition by Chinyere Amuchienwa, the police had filed a criminal charge against Ohakim and Okpaleke.
However, Thursday’s sitting meant for the arraignment of the two defendants, was stalled following the request of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN to study the case file.
Sani Bagudu, from the office of the AGF had applied to withdraw the matter to enable the AGF study the case file and take appropriate action.
Consequently, the trial judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo had to strike out the case, pending when the AGF decides on what next to do in the matter.
On September 27, 2021, Justice Taiwo had ruled that the AGF has unfettered power to take over the case, following a move by the Police to withdraw the charge against the defendants marked FHC/ABJ/CS/287/2020.
In the five-count charge dated November 25, 2020, the police had alleged that Ohakim and Okpareke, knowingly and intentionally transmitted communication through a computer system to harass and bully Amuchienwa, an offence that is punishable under Section 24(1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.
Two 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 punishab(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.