September 29, 2009

Magistrate overrules AG over robbery suspects in Ebonyi

By Dennis Agbo

ABAKALIKI – Whether an Abakaliki Magistrate court will hear a robbery charge preferred against two suspects from Izzi area of Ebonyi, or not, caused a stir yesterday,  with the Magistrate, Mr. Samuel Okorogo, over ruling the State Attorney-General, Mr. Jossy Eze.

The two suspects, Obinna Nwuda and Ifeanyi Nwibo of Opeffia Ngbalukwu in Izzi Local Government Area, were accused by one Sunday Nwogbaga of armed robbery and were taken to the police station where a charge was formerly preferred against them by the DPP, but when the case came up for hearing, yesterday, hundreds of the natives thronged the court, thinking that the Attorney-General had a hidden agenda in the case.

Ruling on a letter purportedly signed on behalf of the Attorney General, the Chief Magistrate, Okorogo said that although the Attorney General  reserved the right to enter nolle prose qui (don’t prosecute) or stay of proceedings on any criminal matter, but such instrument must be signed by him or by oral application in court.

Okorogo said that any officer carrying out Attorney General’s power, should equally show instrument that confers such power on him, otherwise his action becomes null and void.

The Chief Magistrate wondered why the Attorney General signed and issued a fiat to Mr. Luke Nkwegu, to prosecute the case in charge,  Commissioner of Police Vs Nwuda Obinna and Nwibo Ifeanyi with Charge No. MAB/341C/2008, but could not sign another letter baring the court from proceeding with the hearing.

Okorogo therefore, dismissed the application for stay of proceedings and adjourned further hearing in the matter to October 26.