Court Orders Akwa Ibom Government To Pay Wrongfully Incarcerated Man ₦2m Compensation
An Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot-Ekpene has ordered the Governor Udom Emmanuel-led state government to pay the sum of N2 million for the rehabilitation of a 28-year-old man, Idaraobong Sunday Dickson, for wrongly imprisoning him for eight years.
The court said the state government made Idaraobong “to suffer in prison for eight years over allegation of armed robbery and rape, which he knew nothing about.”
The court, presided over by Justice Ntong Ntong, gave the order at the weekend in its judgment in a protracted case between the state against Idaraobong and three others on trial since 2015 on a six-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony, robbery, armed robbery and rape.
Justice Ntong, who discharged and acquitted Idaraobong, having found him not guilty, however convicted and sentenced the two other defendants, Nsikak Godwin, to 20 years in prison and Christopher Sunday, to serve 16 years in jail, expected to run concurrently from June 22, 2015.
In the about one-hour judgement, the court also ordered that “the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) must apologise to Idaraobong, either in a national newspaper or privately in a special letter addressed to the defendant for unlawful arrest.”
The court held that, “evidence presented shows that, Idaraobong, a native of Ikot Ada Utor in Midim, Abak LGA, has no case to answer, as there is no evidence linking him with the commission of the alleged offences.”
The court, however, advised that “Akwa Ibom State government, particularly the attorney-general of the state and the director of public prosecution (DPP) should always supervise the activities of lawyers in the attorney general’s office and the Nigeria Police, to caution its officers to treat civil populace with dignity and respect.”
It further held that “the police or the state, prosecuting a person suspected of committing a crime, ought to be diligent and sure of their facts, before charging the person to court.”
Justice Ntong, wondered how “the life of Idaraobong, a phone battery charger and recharge card seller in Ikot-Ekpene, who was toiling day and night to make ends meet, be truncated by Police shoddy investigation.”
He noted that “a situation whereby the accused is made to suffer unjustly is tantamount to unjust treatment of an innocent citizen, who has wasted his youthful years in prison for an offence he did not commit.
Breaking: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ Trafficking In The U.K.
A former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, his wife, Beatrice, have been found guilty of organ trafficking in the United Kingdom.
The duo alongside a medical doctor, Dr. Obinna Obeta, were found guilty of facilitating the travel of a young man to Britain with a view to his exploitation after a six-week trial at the Old Bailey.
They criminally conspired to bring the 21-year-old Lagos street trader to London to exploit him for his kidney, the jury found on Thursday.
The judge, Justice Jeremy Johnson, will pass a sentence at a later date, The Guardian UK reports.
Ekweremadu, Beatrice, their daughter, Sonia, and Obeta had been standing trial at the Old Bailey for organ trafficking.
Their conviction on Thursday was the first verdict of its kind under the Modern Slavery Act.
Ekweremadu and his wife were last year arrested in the United Kingdom for allegedly trafficking a young man into the country to harvest his kidney.
The young man was said to have been falsely presented as Sonia’s cousin in a failed bid to persuade doctors to carry out an £80,000 private procedure at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
The young man was said to have been offered an illegal reward to become a donor for Sonia after kidney disease forced her to drop out of a master’s degree in film at Newcastle University.
The prosecutor, Hugh Davies KC, told the court the Ekweremadus and Obeta had treated the man and other potential donors as “disposable assets – spare parts for reward”.
He said they entered an “emotionally cold commercial transaction” with the man, The Guardian UK report added.
The behaviour of Ekweremadu showed “entitlement, dishonesty and hypocrisy”, Davies told the jury.
He said Ekweremadu “agreed to reward someone for a kidney for his daughter – somebody in circumstances of poverty and from whom he distanced himself and made no inquiries, and with whom, for his own political protection, he wanted no direct contact”.
Davies added, “What he agreed to do was not simply expedient in the clinical interests of his daughter, Sonia, it was exploitation, it was criminal. It is no defence to say he acted out of love for his daughter. Her clinical needs cannot come at the expense of the exploitation of somebody in poverty.”
On March 14, it was reported that Beatrice denied involvement in the search for an organ donor for their ailing daughter, Sonia.
It was also reported that Ekweremadu claimed he involved the young man after he was advised by his doctor against seeking a kidney donor from among his family members.
Enugu Guber: INEC Suspends Nkanu East As Opposition Parties Cry Foul
The State Collation Officer for the governorship election in Enugu State, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, has suspended collation of results emanating from Nkanu East Council of the state, following allegation of non-usage of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the area during the election.
The Collation Officer for the council, Ogbene Nnaemeka, had presented the results of the area with the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Mbah, scoring 30,350 votes to beat his Labour Party (LP), counterpart, Chijioke Edeoga, who got 1,855 votes.
However, the LP agent, Dr. Eugene Edeoga, and that of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ndubuisi Enechionye, as well as others, drew the attention of the Collation Officer and the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu.Edeoga said: “We have serious and fundamental objections to results being announced. Nkanu East did not use BVAS.
“INEC officers claimed the BVAS did not work, and we know what the Electoral Act provides regarding non-usage of BVAS. So, we are bringing this to your notice for your action.”
The APGA agent also said: “In the Community Primary School, Owo, Nkanu East, where the PDP candidate comes from, accredited voters were 200. PDP won all the 200 votes. But that 200 were not enough for them, they changed it to 800 when registered voters are 700.
All efforts by agents of the PDP to get the result to be accepted, was unsuccessful as the Collation Officer, Prof. Iwe, suspended the result from the area. So far at press time, results from 12 councils out of 17 have been collated.
72-Year-Old Woman Who Was Mutilated By Domestic Worker Dies In Hospital
A septuagenarian, Mrs Charity Okoli, whose genitals were cut by her domestic worker, Onyebuchi Ezeh, alongside two other fleeing suspects, has died.
It was reported last week, that the deceased had her breasts, finger, tongue and private part cut off by the three suspects allegedly for ritual purposes after they had allegedly raped her at her home, in Umunze, in the Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
She was later rescued by her neighbours and rushed to the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku Awka, where she was said to be recuperating until her death.
The prime suspect hails from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
Following the development, some women from the community on Tuesday, protested the death of the 72-year-old woman as they paralysed commercial and economic activities in the area while demanding the exit of all Abakaliki indigenes from their community.
The protesters wielding placards with various inscriptions and green leaves marched towards the Umunze Area Police Command headquarters, the palace of the community’s traditional ruler, Igwe Promise Eze, and the local government area as well as other relevant bodies.
Speaking to journalists, the spokesperson of the protesters, Mrs Enekwechi Bridget, said, “The entire Umunze community resolved to come together today for a peaceful protest because Abakaliki people resident in our community raped one of us in Ubaha village and cut off her tongue, one of her fingers, two nipples of her breasts and her private part.
“So, that is why we are here to complain to the transition committee chairman of the local government area so he can take our report to Awka, the state capital, for necessary action.
“We are demanding justice and that the suspects should face the full weight of the law because women are not supposed to face such torture and suffering in the hands of heartless criminal elements.”
The President-General of the Umunze Progressives Union, Chief Hippolite Olua, who also addressed the women, commended them for their peaceful conduct and urged them to go about their protest peacefully as their complaints would be given prompt attention by the police and other relevant authorities.
The traditional ruler of the Umunze community, Eze, in his reaction, lamented that his subjects have suffered so much at the hands of non-indigenes.
The monarch, however, urged the people of the community to remain calm as police and leaders of the community are working round the clock to ensure that justice is done at the end of the day.
“I have told the police command that the suspect must be charged to court for murder and they have assured me that the matter would not be swept under the carpet. I have instructed the youth to exercise restraint while awaiting the outcome of the case,” he added.