Nigerian Concord Newspaper
A Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Wuse Zone 6, Abuja, has directed the Nigerian Police Force to investigate the Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue State, Fidelis Mnyim for allegedly supplying false information against Chief Mike Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN,in a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Also affected by the directive is another lawyer, Odusanya Damilola George, who is the first defendant.
The chief Magistrate Elizabeth Wonini, made the order on Monday, following a direct criminal summons brought by the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Mike Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN.
The direct criminal summons was brought against Mnyim and Odusanya pursuant to section 109 (e) and 110(1) (c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
When the case came up for mention, only the second defendant, Mnyim was in court.
Counsel to Chief Aondoakaa, SAN, A. T. Kohol submitted that there was the need for the defendants to be put in the dock for the purpose of arraignment as the matter was a criminal case.
He added that following the absence of Odusanya in court, the prosecution was at liberty to apply for a warrant of arrest against him to compel his appearance in court.
Counsel to Odusanya, Abdulganiyu Arobo,vehemently opposed Kohol submissions on the grounds that a direct criminal summons being an application, the court is bound to look at it before further steps could be taken.
He specifically made reference to the provisions of section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, in submitting that the allegations contained in the summons should first be referred to the police for investigation, before further steps by the court.
Kohol however countered the submission of Arobo that by virtue of the provisions of Section 89(3), a direct criminal complain can be made by the complainant or through his counsel.
Counsel to Mnyim, T.J.Aondo aligned himself with the submission of Arobo.
After listening to argument from the counsels in the matter, Chief Magistrate Wonini said it is in her character to always refer direct criminal summons to the police for investigations to avoid unnecessary and unsubstantiated petitions.
Accordingly, she directed that the direct criminal summons be investigated by the police and report back to the court within 14 days.
Part of the direct criminal complaint reads:
“On or about the 28th day of June 2022, the defendants who are both within the jurisdiction of the court, being legally bound under oath did make statement which they knew to be false before the Federal High Court, Abuja in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/938/2021 and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 156 of the Panel Code and punishable under section 158 of the Penal Code.”
It also states that: “The complaint is predicated on the blatant falsehood contained in the deposition made under oath by the defendants against the the plaintiff in respect of Suit No:FHC/ABJ/CS/983/2021 at the Federal High Court Sitting in Abuja, and which falsehood was calculated to malign the complainant and pervert the course of justice.”
It also states that: ” The complainant has now field a direct criminal summons against defendants in line with his resolve to protect his reputation and and prevent from perverting the cause of justice.