From Ron Jacob, Jos.
A Jos High Court on Wednesday quashed criminal charges brought against a medical doctor by the police. There has been a tussle over the ownership of a hospital between the doctor and the family of late Senator Gyang Dantong’s.
The Police had on Oct. 7, 2016 filed a case against Dr Nyango Dalyop-Davo on three count charges of breach of trust, cheating, and forgery. The offences are punishable under section 312, 323 and 364 of the penal code.
But Justice David Mann of High Court II, ruled on the case quashing all the charges against the accused and described the entire case as “civil’’ and not “criminal’’ in nature.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Joseph Idoko, had claimed that the accused (Nyango) had collected the sum of N25 Million from late Dantong in a partnership agreement to purchase one New Crescent Hospital Limited situated in Jos.
Idoko had told the court that after the death of Dantong, all attempts by the family to compel the accused to explain the true state of affairs regarding the partnership proved abortive, which compelled the family to lodge a complaint with the police.
He claimed that the partnership agreement was entered into on May 4, 2009 by the duo (Nyango and Dantong) and that N18 Million out of the N25 million has been repaid even before the demise of Dantong in July 2012.
But the defense counsel, Mr N. I. Darong, filed a preliminary objection to the trial of the accused on the ground that a careful scrutiny of the proofs of evidence and exhibits already tendered to the court clearly revealed that `”it is strictly a civil transaction without criminal elements.’’
Darong accused the prosecuting counsel of acting unprofessionally by deliberately omitting to make available to the court at the onset some vital documents regarding the true position of the partnership agreement between the duo.
He also challenged the jurisdiction of the court to handle the case, which he claimed was pure a civil matter and not criminal one.
“My lord, the death of Dr Gyang Dantong in 2012 has since dissolved the partnership more so that the administrator of his (Dantong) has not applied for the New Crescent Hospital Limited to be listed as part of the property of the deceased, ’’ he claimed.
Darong, however, urged the court to strike out the case against the accused claiming that the court lacks the jurisdiction to try such civil matter, which he said also lacked merit.
The judge, in his ruling on the case, took a swipe at the police for been economical with the truth regarding the case.
“The proofs of evidence as well as the evidence already tendered in this case reveal that the transaction that gave rise to the prosecution of the accused person is a purely civil transaction and the police exceeded their powers under section 4 and 23 of the police Act.
“If it is true that these documents were in possession of the police and yet not made available to the court, then clearly certain facts were suppressed or unfairly withheld from the court, ’’ the judge noted.
He declared, “I have come to the inescapable conclusion that the transaction that has informed the prosecution of the accused person is a purely civil transaction.’’
“I therefore find merit in the objection raised by the accused person, the charge against him is, for the reasons adduced, hereby quashed for want of jurisdiction, and the accused is discharged, ’’ the Judged declared.