Court Discharges Accused

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An Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court, Ebute Meta, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, has discharged an accused alleged to have stolen N20 million.

The accused, Mrs. Patience Aku, 27, was discharged from the one-count charge of stealing preferred against her by the police for lack of diligent prosecution.

Discharging the accused, Chief Magistrate Philip A. Ojo, also made an order restraining the police from rearresting her unless they are prepared to prosecute the matter.

He ordered the police to return all the items seized from the woman as at the time of the arrest.

The discharged woman has been on trial since July 2010.

The charge against her read: “That you, Patience Aku between 2003 to July 2010 at 51, Taiwo Street, Lagos Island in the Lagos magisterial district did steal the sum of N20,000,000.00 property of one Martin Obunike and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 390 (6) (9) of the Criminal Code,Cap.C.17, Vol. 11, Laws of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2003.”

She pleaded not guilty to the charge and the magistrate admitted her on bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

She was however discharged on Monday due to lack of diligent prosecution.

—Paul Sanusi