…As court adjourns to Nov. 14

A Magistrate Court sitting in Owerri has granted an application by the Imo State Attorney General, Barr COC Akaolisa to take over the case involving a lawyer, Chinaka Chigozie Esq and the State Police.

Barr Chinaka was charged to court  after he was brutally humiliated, tortured and unlawfully detained in the course of providing legal services to his client, Wisdom Maduka who was arrested and detained since 5th June, 2023 over mere allegations of breach of promise to marry.

The Police Area Commander, Owerri Municipal, ACP David Ogenyi had dragged Barr. Chinaka to a Magistrate court after ordering his boys to torture and detain him.

When the case was called up on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, the Chief Magistrate, Court 6, His Worship, Tobechi Agumadu ordered the Police to hand over the case file to the  Attorney General as empowered by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The Attorney General having applied to take over the prosecution of this case as provided under the constitution, his application is hereby granted.

“The prosecutor is hereby ordered to handover the case file to office of the Attorney General.

“In the circumstance, this case is adjourned to 14th day of November, 2023 for report from the office of the Attorney General.”

In an interview with newsmen after the court, the Attorney General, Barr COC Akaolisa expressed dismay that the Police arraigned a lawyer without recourse to his office.

“As the leader of the Bar and Chief Law Officer of the state, if a lawyer is to be arraigned before any court in Imo state, police has it as a duty to atleast give us the information so that we know the facts upon which the lawyer is to be arraigned.

“So, I view it with serious concern that a lawyer in this state is being arraigned without the Attorney General being notified.”

Lending her voice, Linda Rose Bala, first National Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association said it was embarrassing that a lawyer was arraigned by the police because his client was detained over mere allegation of breach of promise to marry.

She commended the Attorney General for appearing in court to take over the matter, and equally lauded Imo NBA for their show of unity and solidarity.

She said that the Bar was heavily embarrassed and promised that measures would be taken to forestall any such incident in future.

Chairman of NBA, Owerri Branch, Ugochukwu Alinno bemoaned the audacity of the police officer and reassured of his interest in the matter to ensure the guilty is punished in accordance with the law.

Vice Chairman of NBA, Owerri Branch and Chairman, Human Rights Committee, Dr. Chioma Emuka said she was impressed with the outcome of the court.

“Atleast with the action of the Attorney General who came in, under section 211 of the 1999 constitution as amended, he has the absolute right to take over any criminal proceedings, no matter who instituted it.

“He has every right to either continue or discontinue with the case and these sections of the law are powers that cannot be challenged by anybody”, Dr. Emuka, who is also an Assistant Director with the Department of Public Prosecution, submitted.

She added that the incessant police brutality on innocent citizens is a blatant human rights violation and punishable under the Violence Against Person’s Prohibition Law of Imo State (IMO VAPP LAW 2021).

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