By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
Nnewi—The police in Anambra have arraigned a 55-year-old Onitsha-based businessman, Mr. Kenneth Okigbo, for allegedly damaging a shop valued at N248,350, property of one Chinedu Anthony Okonkwo, on December 15, 2015.
Mr. Okigbo was arraigned before an Onitsha Magistrate court presided over by M.N. Amaduah of the Magistrate Court 7, Onitsha.
In the charge, the police said Okigbo willfully and maliciously damaged a shop built with blocks, valued at N248,350, property of one Chinedu Anthony Okonkwo and thereby, committed an offence punishable under section 415(i) of Criminal Code Cap 36Vol. II revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria, 1991.
But when the charge was read to Okigbo, he pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of N200,000, with one surety in like sum.
However, when the matter came up again in court yesterday, a mild drama ensued between a lawyer and the police prosecutor, Mr. Ogbu, when counsel to the defendant told Mr. Okonkwo while on witness box that he had no business being in the court against Mr. Okigbo because his father who originally owns the house is still living and should be the one in court.
The comment did not go down well with the police prosecutor who felt the defendant’s lawyer was using insulting and intimidating comments against Mr. Okonkwo who had earlier told the court that his father is very old and had handed over everything about the property to him as the first son, including the management, repairs, reconstruction and collection of rent, since he became very weak and retired to Nnewi.
Ogbu promptly raised an objection and told the magistrate to call the lawyer to order by restricting his questions and comments on the damaged property, since the ownership of the building is not in contest and is not why they were in court.
The magistrate, however, adjourned the matter to March 21, 2016 for further hearing.