By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Thursday, took over the case-file of former Governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, who is facing trial over an allegation that he threatened to release a nude photograph of an Abuja based woman, Mrs Chinyere Amuchienwa.
At the resumed proceedings in the case which is pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the AGF, through a lawyer in his office, Bagudu Sani, told the court that he took over the matter from the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, to ensure diligent prosecution.
Sani told the court that the AGF had in a letter he sent to the IGP on March 17, 2021, asked Police to hands-off the case.
“We shall formally file the letter so that the court would take judicial notice of it”, Sani added.
However, Police lawyer, Rufus Dimka, opposed the AGF’s move to take over the prosecution, insisting that the charge was filed by the IGP.
In a short ruling, trial Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered the lawyer from the office of the AGF to formally file the letter before the court and serve the same on all the parties.
Justice Taiwo held that the parties would on the next adjourned date, address the court on the issue.
He, therefore, directed them to file and exchange their written address before the adjourned date.
The case was subsequently adjourned till May 6 for the parties to address the court on the propriety of the office of the AGF taking over the case and for the arraignment of the Defendants.
Earlier in the proceedings, Police disclosed that it filed an application for leave of the court to withdraw the charge against the Defendants.
Police had in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CS/287/2020, cited the former governor and one Chinedu Okpareke as Defendants.
The Defendants were alleged to have threatened to release a nude photograph of Amuchienwa if she fails to drop charges of attempted kidnap against them.
In the five-count charge dated November 25, 2020, Police 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.
Some of the charges against them, 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.
Ohakim has been on police administrative bail since November 11, 2020.