By Olalekan Awojodu
The arraignment of former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim for allegedly threatening to release nude photographs of an Abuja based lady, Chinyere Amuchienwa has been fixed forJanuary 17, 2022.
The trial Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, fixed the date at a resume hearing on Monday.
Ohakim and Chinedu Okpaleke are being prosecuted by the Federal Government for threatening to release Chinyere’s nude photos if she fails to drop charges of attempted kidnap against them.
Following a petition by Chinyere Amuchienwa, the police had filed a criminal charge against Ohakim and Okpaleke, but later discovered that the content of the petition was false and misleading.
Consequently, effort by the Police to withdraw the charge against the defendants marked FHC/ABJ/CS/287/2020, proved abortive as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice applied to the court to take over the matter.
On September 27, Justice Taiwo ruled that the AGF has unfettered power to take over the case.
At hearing of the matter on Monday, A. K Alilu, an Assistant Director, Public Prosecution of the Federation announced appearance for the AGF, while Emeka Etiaba SAN, appeared for the 1st defendant. Kenneth C.O, SAN represented the 2nd defendant just as Ifeanyi Nwaeze, held the brief of norminal complainant (Chinyere Amuchienwa).
Etiaba apologized to the court that his client was absent because he was under isolation due to the OMICRON COVID-19 variant, having returned from South Africa. Counsel to Ohakim also apologised for Ohakim’s inability to be in court, citing health reason.
Reacting, the prosecution counsel
said the matter was “intentionally being stalled from going on because nobody informed the prosecution of all these developments.
Ruling, Justice Taiwo held that the COVID-19 is not an issue to play with.
In view of the application of the defendants, the court adjourned to January 17, 2022 for Ohakim and Okpaleke to be arraigned.