The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami has taken over the prosecution of Prof. Obiajulu Obikeze and four others standing trial on alleged forgery of chieftaincy documents.
The five defendants before now were been prosecuted by the Police before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
However, when the matter came up for hearing last Friday, Mr. Joe Agi, SAN, who announced appearance for the prosecution, told Justice Ekwo that he had been authorised by the AGF to take over the matter.
“In the circumstances, I will be taking over from the police and asking for an adjourned date,” he said.
Responding, Mr. Kelvin Nwufo, SAN, representing the defendants, said though he had heard the information earlier, he would have loved to move his motion before adjournment.
On his part, Police counsel, Mr. Celestine Odo, said he was just told in the morning by the senior lawyer representing the AGF, adding that they will arrange to go back and do the handing over.
Since there were no objections, the judge subsequently adjourned the matter until July 20 for the AGF to review the case and report back to the court.
While noting that the trial which commenced on May 23, had suffered a setback, Nwufo, said though he was ready for the trial, the prosecution was yet to respond to his motion filed, seeking for an order dismissing the charge, for which the court had fixed on June 10 for hearing.
Other defendants in the suit included Dr. Raymond Ofor, Chief Ezue, Sir Amobi Nwafor and Okafor Bethram as 2nd to 4th defendants respectively.
Obikeze, who works with the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, formerly known as Anambra State University, Igbariam in Anambra, was arraigned on February 22 alongside others on 11 counts charge.
In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/184/2021 dated and filed on July 6, 2021, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offence around Jan.15, 2019, at Awa, Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra.
In count one, the five defendants, and others now at large, were alleged to have conspired to commit forgery, an offence contrary to Section 3(6) and punishable under Section 1(2) (c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act, Cap M17 Laws of Nigeria, 2010.
While count two accused them of uttering forged documents, count three accused them of making, “a forged letter to the Special Adviser to the Governor of Anambra State on Chieftaincy and Towns Union Matters.”