24th February, 2022
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday struck out a criminal charge filed against a former governor of Imo, Chief Ikedi Ohakim.
In the charge, Ohakim and one Chinedu Okpaleke were prosecuted by the federal government for allegedly threatening to release nude photographs of Ms Chinyere Amuchienwa, if she fails to drop the charge of attempted kidnap against them.
Following the petition by Chinyere, the police filed a criminal charge against the duo.
However, when the matter was called, Mr Sani Bagudu, a counsel from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) informed the court that the AGF would like to study the case file.
Bagudu subsequently applied to withdraw the matter to enable the AGF to study the case file and take appropriate action.
Consequently, Justice Taiwo struck out the case, pending the AGF’s decision on the next line of action.
On Sept. 27, 2021, Justice Taiwo ruled that the AGF had unfettered power to take over the case, following a move by the Police to withdraw the charge against the defendants.
In the five-count charge, the police alleged that Ohakim and Okpaleke, knowingly and intentionally transmitted communication through a computer system to harass and bully Amuchienwa, an offence that was punishable under Section 24(1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.
Part of the charge read; “That you Okpaleke and Ohakim and others now at large on Aug. 13, 2020, within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves by knowingly and intentionally sending messages by means of computer system or network.
“This was in a grossly offensive, pornographic, nude of an indecent obscene and menacing character of one Amuchienwa, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.
“That you Okpaleke and Ohakim and others now at large on Aug. 13, 2020, within the jurisdiction of this court did conspire among yourselves to cause annoyance and criminal intimidation on Amuchienwa.
“Thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.”