From Godwin Tsa Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, SAN, yesterday clashed in court over a motion seeking the discontinuance of a crybercrime charge against former Imo State governor, Dr. Ikedi Ohakim.
The development forced the court to adjourn proceedings to May 6. The IGP had filed a notice of discontinuance of the charge marked FHC/ ABJ/CR: 287/2020 against the defendants, Dr. Ohakim and Chinedu Okpareke.
The notice, dated March 15, was filed before the court by Rotshang Faith Dimka, legal counsel, Legal/Prosecution Section, FCIID, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
It reads: “Take notice that the complainant discontinues all of the proceedings in this case against all the defendants, Chinedu Okpareke and Dr. Ikedi Ohakim, with the consent of all the parties.”
However, when the matter was called, a mild drama ensued as a lawyer from the office of the AGF, Bagudu Sani, informed the court that the office of the AGF had taken over the case by a letter dated March 17, which he said had been served on the IGP.
Immediately after his submissions, the prosecution counsel, Rotshang Faith Dimka from the office of the IGP, opposed the taking over of the case by the office of AGF on the ground that the charges preferred against the former governor was prepared by the office of the IGP. She said the IGP is the complainant in the case. She wondered how the AGF would want to take over a matter that a notice of discontinuance had already been filed.
Following the development, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who said he had taken judicial notice of the letter, directed Sani to file the letter formally before the court. Counsel for the defendants, Chief Emeka Etiaba, SAN, for Okpareke and K.C Nzemaze, SAN, for Ohakim had all expressed their readiness to challenge the AGF’s action.
Meanwhile, the court has given all the parties seven days each to file and exchange their written arguments on the propriety or otherwise of the taken over of the case by the AGF after a notice of discontinuance had been filed by the complainant. Taiwo, thereafter, adjourned the case to May 6, for the adoption of written addresses by parties to the suit.