Enugu court acquits two psychiatristic doctors accused of stealing from dead colleague

An Enugu Chief Magistrate Court on Wednesday acquitted two Psychiatrist Doctors of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, McDonald Inechi and Kingsley Ugwuonye, accused of forgery and stealing from their dead colleague.

The Enugu State Police Command had recently arraigned the two doctors before Chief Magistrate J. I. Agu, of the Enugu North Magisterial district in a 4-count charge marked: “MEN /223c/2020 for stealing N700,000 belonging to Sir Ozor Stephen, a next of kin to Late Doctor Ozor Obinna by forging his signature in a purported acknowledgement letter.

They were also accused of stealing N1,030,711 belonging to their colleague, Late Obinna.

The doctors pleaded not guilty on each of the four counts charge and were granted bail of N300,000 and one surety each in like sum.

However during the last proceeding, the Magistrate had advised the complainant, Chief Ozor to settle out-of-court before today’s (Wednesday) proceedings or the court will commence trial.

But when the case was called up on Wednesday, both the Police Prosecutor, Simeon Aneze and Defence Counsel, Boniface Ugwu announced their appearances. The complainant and defendants/ accused persons were also present.

When the trial Magistrate enquired about the progress on the settlement, the Prosecuting Counsel, Aneze told the court that he just got information in the court that the complainant had settled with the accused.

Magistrate Agu however, asked the complainant whether he has settled with the accused persons and he said yes.

Ozor was subsequently asked to enter the witness box and make his declaration. He however, stated, “I am Sir Stephen Ozor, a retired Civil Servant living at No5 Ebenato Street, City Layout Enugu. I am the complainant in this matter and I want to withdraw it.”

The Defence Counsel, Ugwu in his oral application urged the court to invoke provisions of section 199 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of the Enugu State 2017 to acquit and discharge the accused persons in view of this circumstances.

The Court subsequently, ruled “the application by PW1 is hereby granted. The accused persons is hereby discharged and acquitted.”

It would be recalled that trouble started when Sir Stephen Ozor petitioned the police accusing the two doctors of stealing funds they with other doctors contributed for medical treatment of his step brother, Late Dr Obinna Ozor.

Obinna who went down with kidney disease, was slated to be flown abroad for treatment but died in Lagos shortly before departure.

The doctors were said to have used part of the funds to bury their late colleague and balance was later given to Sir Ozor and other entitlements of the late Doctor as the next of kin.

Unfortunately, five years later after the financial records of the expenditure and other documents of the Association of Residents Doctor, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu were allegedly burt by one of the past Presidents, Ozor wrote the hospital demanding that entitlements of his brother be paid to him.

He equally demanded that the doctors should give him a detailed account of expenses made from the funds the doctors contributed into a dedicated bank account for the treatment of his late brother.

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