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Contempt: Magistrate orders arrest of monarch

By VINCENT UJUMADU

AWKA – AN Anambra Chief Magistrate Court, presided over by Phil Ebosie, yesterday issued a bench warrant on the traditional ruler of Abacha, in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Godwin Mbakwe, absenting himself from court to answer charges on the case of allegedly giving false information to the police.

The monarch is standing trial on a two-count charge of defaming and giving false information to the police against nine persons.

According to the prosecution, the offence is punishable under section 154(1)(b) of the Criminal Code, Cap 36 Vol. II of the Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991 as amended and section 325 of Criminal Code Cap 36 Vol. II of the Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria as amended

When the case came up for hearing yesterday, the defense counsel, Mr. G.N. Molokwu, could not give reason the traditional ruler was not in court, but applied for an adjournment to enable the royal father appear in court at the next adjourned date.

Counsel for the prosecution, Mr. L.C. Agbata, however, objected to the application for adjournment on the ground that the defendant had consistently absented himself from court.

He reminded the court that the defense counsel had told the court that the defendant traveled abroad, and applied for long adjournment, adding that the reason for the continued absence of the traditional ruler from court was not satisfactory.

He, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the application for adjournment and issue a bench warrant on the defendant and for him to appear at the next adjourned date.

In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Ebosie ordered that bench warrant be issued on the monarch and adjourned the case for hearing to June 5, 2012.


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