- The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, February 23, struck the criminal charge against Ikedi Ohakim
- The suit was struck out by Justice Taiwo Taiwo after AGF Abubakar Malami's lawyer asked that the case file should be studied
- The application which was not opposed by the defendants' lawyer was granted by the presiding judge
The criminal charge filed against Chief Ikedi Ohakim, a former governor of Imo, has been struck during a sitting at the Federal High Court in Abuja presided by Justice Taiwo Taiwo.
In the charge, Ohakim and one Chinedu Okpaleke, were prosecuted by the federal government for allegedly threatening to release unclad photographs of one Chinyere Amuchienwa, should she refuse to drop allegations of attempted kidnap against them, Leadership reports.
The police had filed a criminal charge against the former governor and Okpaleke.
However, during the arraignment of the two defendants on Wednesday, February 23, the sitting was stalled due to the request of Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to study the case file, The Nation added.
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Based on this request made on behalf of the AGF's office by one Sani Bagudu, Justice Taiwo struck out the case, pending when Malami makes a decision on the matter.
Court orders Malami to take over prosecution of former Imostate governor
Meanwhile, Malami had been ordered to take over the prosecution of Ohakim.
The directive was issued in a ruling by Justice Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
While arraignment of the former governor was pending, the police later filed a notice of discountenancing of the matter.
Justice Taiwo in a ruling on Monday, September 27, held that there was no doubt that the AGF has unfettered power to prosecute.
The trial judge consequently deferred the arraignment as well as the commencement of the trial of Ohakim to October 21.
Malami takes over trial of ex-Imo governor Ohakim
Recall that Malami had on Thursday, March 18, taken over the case file of the ex-governor of Imo state on behalf of the federal government.
The counsel for the police, Rufus Dimka, opposed the taking over of the case by the office of the AGF.
The case against Ohakim has been on for a while and many say it is a stain on his political career.
In a related development, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) filed charges against Amuchienwa for allegedly lying against Ohakim.
The IGP had preferred a five-count charge against Ohakim, following a petition by Amuchienwa who accused the former governor of harassment.