The planned arraignment of a former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim has been stalled at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
This was a result of a notice to the court during the proceedings on Thursday that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) was now in charge of the case.
A lawyer from the office of the AGF informed Justice Taiwo Taiwo that they had taken over the prosecution of Ohakim who was accused of threatening and harassing one Mrs Chinyere Amuchienwa.
He explained that the AGF had taken over the case by a letter dated March 17, 2021, which he said had been served on the Inspector General of Police.
But counsel to the police, R. Dimka, opposed the taking over of the case against the former by the office of AGF.
She stated that the charges preferred against the former governor were prepared by the office of the IGP, whom she said is the complainant in the case.
In his ruling, Justice Taiwo told the prosecutor from the office of the AGF that he had taken judicial notice of the letter, but the counsel should file the letter formally before the court.
He also deferred the arraignment of the former governor until May 6, to enable parties file and serve written addresses on the propriety of the office of the AGF taking over the case from the police.
The former governor and one other person, Chinedu Okpareke, have been on administrative bail since November 11, 2020, following the suit file by the police over allegations of threatening and harassing Amuchienwa.
According to the charge marked 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 the charges of attempted kidnap against them.
The five-count charge dated November 25, 2020, alleged that both men “knowingly and intentionally transmitted communication through a computer system to harass and bully Amuchienwa”, an offence said to be punishable under Section 24(1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.
Two of the charges read, ”That you Chinendu Okpareke ‘m’ 49, and Ikedi Ohakim ‘m’ and others now at large on August 13, 2020, within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves by knowingly and intentionally sending messages by means of a 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 August 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.”