Again, attempt by the office of the Attorney General of Federation and minister of Justice to arraign former Governor of Imo State Chief Ikedi Ohakim on five count charge for posting nude photographs of a lady stalled.
The office of the AGF wanted to arraign Ohakim on Monday before Justice Taiwo Taiwo for posting nude photographs of an Abuja based lady, Chinyere Amuchienwa on the internet following a misunderstanding between them.
The lady was said to have refused to drop charges of attempted kidnap against Ohakim and one Chinedu Okpaleke.
But efforts by Nigeria Police to arraign both Ohakim and his alleged accomplice Chinedu Okpaleke became a mirage after the charge was filed in 2020.
Dissatisfied with the ugly trend on Monday, Prosecution counsel Aminu K.Alilu, an Assistant Director, Public Prosecution of the federation who announced appearance for the AGF, accused the defence lawyers of frustrating Ohakim’s arraignment.
Alilu said the matter was “intentionally being stalled from going on because nobody informed the prosecution of the health condition of Ohakim ” who was conspicuously absent in court .
Emeka Etiaba (SAN), who announced appearance for Ohakim had stood up and apologized to the court that his client was absent.
He said Ohakim is in isolation due to the OMICRON COVID-19 variant, having returned from South Africa.
Counsel to Ohakim also apologized for Ohakim’s inability to be in court, citing health reason. He urged the court to fix another date for arraignment.
Mr. C.O,Kenneth (SAN) who represented the 2nd defendant and Ifeanyi Nwaeze, who held the brief of nominal complainant (Chinyere Amuchienwa) aligned with Etiaba submission.
Trial Court Judge, Justice Taiwo ruled that the COVID-19 is not an issue to play with adding that in view of the application of the defendants, the case is adjourn to January 17, 2022 for Ohakim and Okpaleke to be arraigned.
Ohakim arraignment had had a checkered history as the Nigeria Police made stringent efforts in June to withdraw the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CS/287/2020 against the defendants .
But Police efforts proved abortive as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice applied to the court and took over the matter on September 27 following a ruling by Justice Taiwo that the AGF has unfettered power to take over the case.
In the five-count charge dated November 25, 2020, the police had 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 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.