From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
An Abuja Magistrate’s Court has issued a warrant of arrest on one Chinyere Lillian Amuchinwa in respect of allegations made against her by a former Governor of Imo State, Dr Ikedi Ohakim.
Magistrate ED Ebiwari directed the Inspector-General of Police to arrest and produce Amuchinwa before the court for the purpose of arraignment to answer allegations made against her by the former governor.
The arrest warrant was made following a direct criminal complaint brought against the defendant by Ohakim.
The lady has since filed a motion challenging the arrest warrant on the ground that it was obtained through fraud and misrepresentation of facts.
In the motion dated December 29, 2020, Amuchinwa has urged the court through her counsel, Ifeanyichukwu Obasi-Nweze, to set aside the order directing her arrest.
She is further challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter as presently constituted and to refer the counsel to Ohakim, Eric Ibe, to the legal practitioners’ disciplinary committee for appropriate sanctions for offending the rules of professional conduct.
The order for the arrest of the defendant dated December 23, 2020, and made by Magistrate Ebiwari of Magistrate Court 14, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, reads: “After hearing from Eric Ibe, complainant’s counsel seeking for the following reliefs:
‘An order of the court directing the Inspector General of Police, Louis Edet House, Force Headquarters, Abuja to arrest and produce the defendant in court so as to secure her attendance in court for the purpose of the arraignment.
‘This court hereby orders as follows: “The Inspector-General of Police, Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, Force Headquarters Abuja, is hereby ordered by virtue of section 113 and 114 of ACJA, 2015, to arrest and produce the defendant, Ms Chinyere Lillian Amuchinwa, to court for the purpose of arraignment to answer the allegations made against her by the complaint, via Direct Criminal Complaint.”‘
The direct criminal complaint marked CR/95/2020 is between Chief Dr Ikedi Ohakim vs Ms Chinyere Lillian Amuchinwa.
While describing the above order as fraudulent, Lady Amuchinwa drew the attention of the court to the fact that Ohakim had on January 20, 2020, wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Police, alleging that she threatened his life and family, assault occasioning harm, malicious campaign of calumny, blackmail and harassment.
‘That the said allegations are the same with the direct criminal complaint used to obtain the fraudulent warrant of arrest against her.’
In her supporting affidavit to the motion deposed to by Watchman Oshekun, Amuchinwa stated that the police fully investigated the petition and found same to be false in every material particular upon which the police charged the complainant (Ohakim) to court for false information and was arraigned in the High court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on November 11, 2020.
‘That the police force headquarters had extended an invitation to the complainant to come and state his side of the story on another petition against him, he neglected and refused to come.’
The allegations are contained in a direct criminal complaint to the court by the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone 7, Police Command headquarters, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja.
Acting on the said complaint, the Magistrate, ED Ebiwari, had in a letter, through the registrar of the court, dated November 25, 2020, directed the AIG Zone 7, Hosea Hassan Karma to investigate the matter and report back to the court.
The letter reads: ‘I have been directed by his Worship, E.D. Ebiwari, Magistrate 1, sitting at Court 3, Jiwa, Abuja, to refer the above parties and case to you for a thorough, discreet and further investigation.
‘You are further directed to furnish the Honorable Court with a report of your findings to the court within two weeks.’
Meanwhile, in the charge that followed the police investigation, marked CR/95/2020, lady Amuchinwa is accused of criminal defamation of character, criminal extortion and threat to life.
The complaint dated November 23, 2020, was filed before the registrar, Chief District Court, Jiwa by counsel to Ohakim, Eric Ibe.
It reads in part: ‘We are solicitors to his Excellency, Dr Ikedi Ohakim, a former Governor of Imo state (hereafter referred to as our ‘client’), on whose behalf and express instructions we bring this direct criminal complaint against Ms Chinyere Lillian Amuchinwa (hereafter referred to as the ‘suspect’).
‘It is our brief that our client and the suspect became close friends in late 2018 but the relationship later broke down on account of our client’s loss of interest in the relationship.
‘Our client informed us that the suspect did not take kindly to his termination of the relationship and as a consequence, the suspect resorted to myriad criminal conducts towards our client.’
The former Governor prayed the court for a warrant of arrest to be issued against Lady Amuchinwa for alleged offences of criminal defamation, assault, extortion and threat to life.
The particulars of the alleged criminal conducts against her are: “several phone calls and text messages by which suspect threatened the life of our client. The suspect also suborned several unknown persons who texted/called our client on the phone and threatened his life.
‘Suspect made several telephone calls to a host of people by which she vowed to do everything within her powers to destroy our client’s reputation and marriage and will not relent until the complainant pays her the sum of N610 million.
‘Suspect made phone calls to notable individuals known to our client and with whom our client does business, calling him a fraudster, whereupon those individuals contacted our client and inquired of him of when and how he had become a fraudster, thereby ruining potential business leads he was pursuing with those individuals. This includes notable Ezes, top statesmen and a current Governor of a state. Suspect has also made defamatory publications against our client, in print and social media.
‘Suspect made good her threats to the life of our client and otherwise defamed him in the presence of many people on two different dates (May 29, 2019, and January 18, 2020) when she trailed him to Abuja from Imo state and physically threatened assault against him.’