An Owerri Magistrate Court presided over by Barr Obinna Njemanze, will today rule on a motion brought before his Lordship by the accused person who is also the Publisher of Watchdog Newspaper, Comrade Precious Nwadike, through his Lawyer, Barr I.A Nwachukwu.
The case which came up last Monday for adoption of written addresses by both parties, however suffered a setback when the counsel to the accused, filed a motion urging the magistrate to refer the case to High Court for interpretation of a constitutional issue making reference to section 36(2) of 1999 constitution, as amended.
The accused person’s Counsel, A.I Nwachukwu, had argued that the refusal of police who the complainant (Uche Nwosu) hid under, to prosecute his client to produce a star witness, is denial of fair hearing.
It was on this ground that the firebrand lawyer, Nwachukwu prayed the Magistrate to oblige the accused, in the interest of justice and fairness, since the law provides that,for anybody who is charged for criminal offences,such person(s) shall be provided all facilities to prove his or her innocence.
It would be recalled that the prime witness in the alleged case of theft, Mr Gift Udenwoke, who was the most senior police officer at Uche Nwosu’s Palatial Owerri home, when the incident took place in 2015,was among the 12 persons arrested, detained without trial for three weeks by the Imo State Police Command, on the grounds that they conspired with the cook to steal huge sum of money, suspected to be part of the bailout fund kept inside Uche Nwosu’s bed room while he was away with his family in United Kingdom.
Udenwoke, being repeatedly mentioned by all the witnesses, brought to court by the accused person, including Barr Kingdom Okere, who testified in court that he was the lawyer officially engaged to effect the release of the suspect(Udenwoke)
Uche Nwosu had severally denied that there was no theft in his house but failed to produce the cook named Henry, so as to testify in court and explain why all security operative and mai-guards on duty on that day, were all arrested and the safe evacuated out of Uche Nwosu’s bedroom after police’s inspection of the scene.
According to the former Police Commissioner, who ordered the arrest of the accused along with some staff of Watchdog newspaper, “the safe we evacuated from Uche Nwosu’s bedroom cannot contain N5 billion!! He however failed to take cognizance of the fact that Watchdog Newspaper publication, mentioned N5 billion in hard currency.
Though Uche Nwosu denied stealing the bailout fund which Committee he was made Chairman by his father-in-law Governor, recent EFCC reports have that part of the fund was deposited in domiciliary accounts in some banks out of which N8 billion was recovered, has since vindicated the 2015 publications.