Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, to take over the prosecution of former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim over an allegation that he threatened to release a nude photograph of an Abuja based woman, Mrs Chinyere Amuchienwa.
The Police had initially filed criminal charges against Chief Ohakim over the allegation of threat to the life of Mrs Amuchienwa.
While waiting for Ohakim to be arraigned in court, the Police later filed a notice of discountenance of the matter in March, the same day the AGF informed the court that it has taken over the prosecution of Ohakim.
According to the charge number, FHC/ABJ/CS/287/2020, Ohakim and one, Chinedu Okpareke was alleged to have threatened to release a nude photograph of Chinyere Amuchienwa, if she fails to drop charges of attempted kidnap she levelled against them.
The former governor and Okpareke were specifically dragged to the court by the Police over allegations of threat to life and harassment of Amuchienwa.
In a ruling on Monday, Justice Taiwo held that there was no doubt that the AGF has unfettered power to prosecute and added that, where issues have been joined in a criminal matter, a notice of discountenance is brought by way of motion on notice.
Consequently, Justice Taiwo, who had, in July fixed Monday to rule on AGF’s request to take over the prosecution of the matter, stated that the court cannot give effect to the notice of discountenance filed by the police.
The judge insisted that the move by the police to discontinue the matter lacked merit and went ahead to fix October 21, 2021, for the arraignment of the former governor as well as the commencement of trial.
In the five-count charge dated November 25, 2020, the police 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.
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