By Hannah Nathan, Warri
The Nigeria Police accused Chief Edozie Njoku, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), of forgery, but Justice Mohammed Madugu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, located in Bwari, has cleared him of any wrong doing.
On November 22, 2022, the police had charged Chief Njoku and APGA Youth Leader Chukwuemeka Nwoga with conspiring with others at large to change a Supreme Court ruling handed down by Justice Mary Peter Odili (rtd).
Judge Madugu dismissed all 14- count that the police had filed against the APGA Chairman in her ruling on Tuesday.
Because of “a lack of sufficient and convincing evidence, the court ruled that the prosecution’s effort to prove its case against the accused has been utterly unsuccessful.
“I find the 1st defendant, Chief Edozie Njoku and the 2nd defendant, Chukwuma Nwoga not guilty as charged, and therefore they have been discharged and acquitted” Justice Madugu ordered.
Because the police had miserably failed to meet the burden of proof that was legally exclusively placed on them, the defense attorneys had urged the court to release and acquit the accused.
In order to decide whether the prosecution had proven its case against the defendants beyond a reasonable doubt, the court accepted the question put forth by the defense attorneys.
The prosecution is required by section 138 of the Evidence Act to establish its case beyond a reasonable doubt, the court observed.
“It is crystal clear that internal disputes in APGA had played a significant role in causing the complexity of the case,” Justice Madugu said in his ruling.
The court stated in the first count that as it was an accusation of criminal conspiracy, it had to be substantiated by the prosecution using indirect proof.
The prosecution witness, the court said, did not present any evidence that would have connected the defendants to a plan or conspiracy to perpetrate the accused offense.
“In accordance with section 178 of the penal code, the prosecution did not establish any dishonest intent following the letter Chief Njoku wrote to Justice Mary Peter Odilli, retired.