Justice Mohammed Madugu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has dismissed a charge bordering on impersonation any against the National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Edozie Njoku, by the Nigeria Police Force.
Justice Madugu held that there was no way the allegation could stand because the prosecution counsel failed to prove how Njoku committed impersonation.
The police had on November 22, 2022 arraigned Njoku and the National Youth leader of APGA, Chukwuemeka Nwoga, on a 14 counts over purported allegation of impersonation and conspiring with others at large to alter a judgement of the Supreme Court delivered by Justice Mary Peter Odili (retd).
Delivering judgement on Tuesday, Justice Madugu dismissed all the 14 counts preferred against Njoku for lack of substantial documentary and oral evidence by the police lawyer, Ezekiel Rinasonte.
The court held that due to “lack of sufficient and credible evidence, the prosecution has failed woefully to prove its case against the defendants”.
“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.
The defence counsel had urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendants because the police had failed woefully to discharge the burden of proof solely placed on them by law.
The court adopted the issue formulated by the defence counsel to determine whether the prosecution had proven its case against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt.
By Section 138 of the Evidence Act, the court noted that the prosecution was expected to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
In his judgement, Justice Madugu stated that “it’s crystal clear, that internal disputes in APGA had played a significant role in causing complexity of the case”.
In the 1st count, the court noted that being an allegation of criminal conspiracy, it must be proven by the prosecution with circumstantial evidence.
However, the court held that the prosecution witness did not produce any evidence linking the defendants with an agreement or conspiracy to commit the alleged offence.
“In accordance with section 178 of the penal code, the prosecution did not establish any dishonest intent from the letter Chief Njoku wrote to Justice Mary Peter Odili, retired.”
Specifically, the court held that the prosecution counsel had failed to adduce substantial evidence in the 14-count charge to find the defendants guilty as charged.