There is no respite for former Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim on criminal charges of threat to the life of an Abuja-based woman, Mrs Chinyere Amuchienwa, as the federal government has taken over the prosecution of the ex- governor.
The office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on Thursday gave a hint that it had taken over the trial from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to ensure diligent prosecution.
The court had on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Ohakim on the grounds that the alleged threat to life and harassment were malicious.
This followed a notice of discontinuance filed by the police in relation to the matter.
Titled CR/933/2020 and dated March 12, the request was filed before the court by the Legal Counsel, Legal/Prosecution Section, FCIID, Force Headquarters, Rotshang Faith Dimka.
The notice read in part: “Take notice that the complainant discontinues all of the proceedings in this case against Dr. Ikedi Ohakim with the consent of all the parties.”
Consequently, the charges were struck out by the court.
However, at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday, where the former governor was to be to be arraigned, a counsel from the office of the AGF, Bagudu Sani informed the court that the office of the AGF has taken over the case by a letter dated March 17, 2021, which he said had been served on the Inspector General of Police IGP.
Counsel to the police, Rufus F Dimka, opposed to 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, whom she said is the complainant in the case.
However, the trial judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo told Sani from the office of the AGF that he had taken judicial notice of the letter but that the counsel should file the letter formally before the court.
The judge deferred the arraignment of the former governor to May 6, 2021 to enable parties file and serve written addresses on the propriety of the office of the AGF taking over the case from the Police.
Ohakim and one Chinedu Okpareke were dragged to the court by the police over allegations of threatening and harassing Mrs Chinyere Amuchienwa.
Ohakim has been on police administrative bail since November 11, 2020.
According to the charge number, FHC/ABJ/CS/287/2020, Ohakim and Okpareke were alleged to have threatened to release a nude photograph of Amuchienwa, if she fails to drop charges of attempted kidnap against them.
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.
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.”