Judge reprimands NSCDC over incorrect charge

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Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos On Monday reprimanded the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), over its inability to draft good criminal charge before the court.

Justice Buba who made the remark consequent upon the arraignment of one Adewale Seun and Lukumon Bello, added that virtually all the cases before him, and which were being prosecuted by the NSCDC are badly handled.

The duo of Seun and Bello, were brought before the court on a three count-charge of allegedly belonging to an unlawful society on the Nigerian Territorial Waters.

Justice Buba was informed that the defendants, sometimes in January, at their base in Oto-Awori, Badagry, Lagos, conspired to commit felony by being in an unlawful society, and assisting in the management of unlawful society.

Specifically, the duo was alleged to have on January 11, assisted in the management of an unlawful society.

The NSCDC insisted that the offences offends the provisions of sections 63 (a) and 516 (a) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation, 2004.

But in his observation, the court posited that there were some errors in the charge, which did not disclose the “actual” offence committed by the accused.

Justice Buba asked: “Which society are you referring to?

However responding through its counsel Mrs Michael-Essien Chinyere, the NSCDC argued that the defendants belonged to the Nigerian Naval Merchant, which it described as an unauthorized naval security outfit that had been proscribed by law.

The defendants subsequently pleaded not guilty to the three counts when read to them.

Though they were not represented by any lawyer, the defendants were granted bail in the sum of N500, 000 each, with one surety each in like sum.

Justice Buba gave an order that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.