Abia: Court strikes out suit, discharges 2 Ariaria market traders

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The criminal charges brought against two Ariaria International Market traders, Aba, Henry Chika Ogbatuo, of Ozordinaihu Multipurpose.

International, and Ifeanyichukwu Umeora of Afia Owo Investment Nigeria have been struck out by Chief Magistrate Q. C. Onyemachi of Aba Chief Magistrate’s Court, Abayi, in Osisioma Magisterial District.

The charges were struck out following the absence of both the prosecutor and the complainant, Ezike, in the suit between the Commissioner of Police and the defendants.

When the charge No. MOS 100 C/2021, which was adjourned for a definite hearing, was called up in court on 6/10 2022, the defendants were present with their lawyer, while the prosecutor and the nominal complainant, Ezike, were absent. The court heard that they did not send any letter or message explaining why they were absent, a scenario which played out on the first day of September 2022, when the matter was first mentioned in the court.

Chief Magistrate Onyemachi said, in his judgment, that it was obvious to the court that the criminal complainant, Ezike, had lost interest in further pursuit of the case, dismissed and discharged the defendants, Ogbatuo and Umeora.

The judgment read thus: “Therefore, based on the application of the defence counsel wherein he has applied that this matter be struck out, and relying on section 350 (1) of the Abia State administration of Criminal Justice Law 2017, the charge is, hereby, dismissed and the defendants are accordingly discharged.”

Based on Ezike’s report to the police, three counts of criminal charges were brought against the two defendants. They were alleged to have committed misdemeanor/threatening violence, in the first charge, intimidated and threatened to kill Ezike in second charge, and had conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of peace in the third charge. The incidents were said to have happened on July 6, 2021, at No. 123 Umuocham road, Aba, in Osisioma magisterial district.

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