Delta court discharges murder suspect over complaint’s lack of interest


An Asaba High Court on Tuesday discharged and acquited one Ferdinand Nwachukwu of a count charge of murder following the complainant’s inability to continue the case.

Justice Marshal Umukoro, who presided over the case, averred that the accused person who had been standing trail in the past three years, had no case, especially with the inability of the complainant to continue the case.

Nwachukwu 31, had pleaded not guilty to the charge, insisting that he knew nothing about the case.

The indigene of Isumpe community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State, was arraigned before the count in suit no. A/46C/2015 on allegation of stabling one Tochukwu Stanley to death over N500.00.

The prosecution witness, Alloy Amaka had on December 3, 2015, told the court that he was called on phone that his son Tochukwu Stanley fought with someone and he was being taken to the hospital, adding that he was advised to wait for the vehicle bringing the son.

He said unfortunately, on the arrival of the vehicle, he was told that the son was thereafter taken to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Asaba where he was certified dead.

In her final written address, counsel to the state, Mrs. T.P.T Urea, submitted that though the complainant has declared the case not necessary, but by section 211 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, only the Attorney General has the power to discontinue a criminal case.

She argued that the administration of Criminal Justice Act referred to by the accused person’s counsel does not give liberty to criminals to go free.

The defence counsel, Kenneth Oseji had urged the court to discharge, and acquit the accused person since it would be impracticable for the state to prosecute the case successfully in view of the nominal complainant’s inability to continue the case.

But Justice Umukoro held that having considered submission on both counsels, the court should respect the stance of the deceased’s father’s inability to continue the case.

To balance the interest of the state, he ordered the accused person to enter into recognizance of good behaviour for five years in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in the like sum, one of whom shall be the father, after attaching a passport photograph and a verifiable residential address.

The court held that breach of the recognizance shall attract a term of three years imprisonment without an option of fine, and discharged the accused.


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