A Wuse Zone 6 Chief Magistrates’ Court, Abuja on Thursday discharged the National Chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Council, Chief Peter Ameh, and his predecessor, Tanko Yunusa, of misappropriation of N41.6million.
The police charged Ameh and Yunusa with conspiracy, misappropriation and conversion of N41.6 million, belonging to the organisation.
They were therefore arraigned on Aug.30 on a four count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, criminal breach if trust, misappropriation and cheating.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday, the prosecution counsel, Victor Okoye informed the court that he had an application in line with Section 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015.
Okoye said the Section provided that a prosecutor had the power to withdraw a matter before judgment was delivered.
He further said the ground for the application for withdrawal was to enable prosecution to carry out further investigation on the matter.
Kehinde Edun, the defence counsel however, opposed the application and pointed out that the Section further said that a prosecutor may withdraw a matter at the instruction of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
He added that there was no evidence before the court to show that there was such instruction from the AGF.
Edun further said if the application were to be granted, the court should also grant a consequential order that the defendants would not be re-arraigned on the same charge.
The Magistrate, Ahmed Ndajiwo, in his ruling said ” Having considered the submissions of both counsel, I am granting the prosecution’s application, only subject to leave of court not to re-arraign defendants on the same charge.
“Accordingly, the First Information Report (FIR) against the two defendants is hereby struck out and the defendants discharged and should not be arraigned on the same offence, except with the leave of the court”, Ndajiwo said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ameh is also the National Chairman of Progressive Peoples Alliace party, and Tanko, the National Chairman of National Conscience Party. (NAN)