Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) of Nigeria, on Friday, took over the suit filed against Prof. Obiajulu Obikeze and four others over allegations bordering on forgery of chieftaincy documents.
Joe Agi, SAN, Counsel for the AGF, told Justice Inyang Ekwo shortly after the matter was called for trial commencement.
Mr. Agi, upon resumed hearing, informed that he had been authorised by the AGF to take over the matter.
“In the circumstances, I will be taking over from the police and asking for an adjourned date,” he said.
Kelvin Nwufo, SAN, who was lawyer to all the defendants, said though he had heard the information earlier, he would have loved to move his motion before adjournment.
Police counsel, Celestine Odo, said he was just told in the morning by learned silk from the AGF’s office.
According to him, we will arrange to go back and do the handing over.
Justice Ekwo said he was going to give another date so that the AGF chamber could review the suit and come back for a report.
The judge subsequently adjourned the matter until July 20 for the AGF to review the case and report back to the court.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the trial commencement, on May 23, suffered a setback.
The development occurred when Nwufo, said though he was ready for the trial, the prosecution was yet to respond to his motion filed, seeking for an order dismissing the charge, making Ekwo to fixed today (June 10) for hearing.
NAN reports that while the Federal Republic of Nigeria, through the Inspector-General of Police, was the complainant, Obikeze, Dr Raymond Ofor, Chief Ezue, Sir Amobi Nwafor and Okafor Bethram IK are 1st to 5th defendants respectively.
Obikeze, who works with the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, formerly known as Anambra State University Igbariam in Anambra, was arraigned on Feb. 22 alongside others on 11 counts.
NAN reports that in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/184/2021 dated and filed on July 6, 2021, by Odu, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offence around Jan.15, 2019, at Awa, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra.
In count one, the five defendants, and others now at large, were alleged to have conspired to commit forgery offence contrary to Section 3(6) and punishable under Section 1(2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Laws of Nigeria, 2010.
While count two accused them of uttering forged documents, count three accused them of making “a forged letter to the Special Adviser to the Governor of Anambra on Chieftaincy and Towns Union Matters.
KThe document is titled, “Submission of Awa Chieftaincy Constitution,” knowing it to be false, with intent that it may be acted upon as genuine at the Government House, Awka, Anambra State.”