Six persons who were held after being accused of conspiracy and attempted murder of the late Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr Dora Akunyili have been acquitted and discharged.
The freed suspects namely: Francis Okoye, Emmanuel Nnakwe, Marcel Nnakwe, Emeka Orjiakora, Christopher Mbah, and Olisaemeka Igbokwe were relieved of charges against them by a judgement delivered by Justice I.U Bello of an Abuja High Court.
While delivering his judgement, Justice Bello held that, “On the charge of conspiracy for instance, the prosecution could not have been successful in the face of exhibit 18(n), a manifest from MTN tendered before the court by the prosecution itself and indeed exhibit 20 equally a similar manifest tendered by the defence, both intended to establish any possible transaction or controvert any such transaction as stated by PW3 between him and 2nd accused through phone conversation.
“It turned not to be falsehood, this rendering the PW3 as unreliable witness and he is so branded. And with that position, the prosecution has failed to discharge the onus of proving the offence of conspiracy as charged. Accordingly, the accused persons are discharged and acquitted on that count.”
Justice Bello also held that the prosecution was not able to prove beyond reasonable doubt or pin the accused persons with degree of certainty at the scene of the crime.
“Consequently, failure to investigate the alibi as raised by the accused persons and in particular 2nd accused, who had tendered exhibits D1-D7 representing his travel documents is fatal to the case of the prosecution’s case.
“In this regard, there is no option to holding the view that 2nd accused was indeed elsewhere representing the meaning of alibi as raised and is successfully so. I therefore, agree with the defence that the case of the prosecution is wholly based on suspicion and the charge on attempted murder cannot stand, and although, the prosecution was able to establish that there was in fact death of a human person being part of the ingredient of the substantive charge under Section 221 of the Penal Code, there is nothing in form of evidence directly or circumstantial showing that it is the accused persons that caused the death of that person, one Emeka Onuekutu while driving his Mitsubishi L3000 minibus with Reg. No. AE 763 AJL.” Justice Bello said.
Continuing, he said: “In fact, by the evidence before this court per exhibit 53 representing Ballistician report stated clearly that it was the AK 47 in the possession of the Sergeant, Haruna Adamu, one of the policemen in the convoy of Dora Akunyili that was shot, indeed, the expired shell recovered from the scene corresponds with the AK 47 of the said Sergeant Adamu who gave evidence as PW 18 for the prosecution.”
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
Join the conversation
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...