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Court acquits Enugu medical doctors of forgery

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Two Consultant Psychiatrists at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, McDonald Inechi and Kinsley Ugwuonye, accused of forgery and stealing, have been discharged and acquitted by the Enugu State Magistrate Court.

The Enugu State Police Command had arraigned the two doctors before Chief Magistrate J. I. Agu, on four counts charge of stealing N700,000 belonging to one Sir Ozor Stephen, a next of kin to late Ozor Obinna, a medical doctor.  

They were also accused of forging late Ozor Obinna’s signature with which they stole N1,030,711 belonging to him.

The money was said to have been contributed by their colleagues for Obbina’s treatment while he was ill.

Before the last proceeding, the Magistrate had advised that the matter be settled out-of-court or the court would commence trial.

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However, when the case resumed, both the Police Prosecutor, Simeon Aneze and Defence Counsel, Boniface Ugwu, who announced their appearances, told the court that the complaint had settled with the accused.

Magistrate Agu had asked Ozor to enter the witness box and make his declaration. Ozor had said: “I am Sir Stephen Ozor, a retired Civil Servant living at No 5 Ebenato Street, City Layout Enugu. I am the complainant in this matter and I want to withdraw it.”

The Defence Counsel, Ugwu, in his oral application, urged the court to invoke provisions of section 199 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of the Enugu State 2017 to acquit and discharge the accused persons in view of the circumstances.

The court subsequently ruled, “The application by PW1 is hereby granted. The accused persons are hereby discharged and acquitted.”

Trouble had started for the medical doctors, when Sir Stephen Ozor petitioned the police accusing them of stealing funds contributed by doctors for medical treatment of his step brother, late Dr Obinna Ozor. 

Obinna, who went down with kidney disease, was to be flown abroad for treatment, but died in Lagos shortly before departure. The doctors were said to have used part of the funds to bury their late colleague and balance was later given to Sir Ozor and other entitlements of the late doctor as the next of kin.

Unfortunately, five years after the financial records of the expenditure and other documents of the Association of Residents Doctor, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu were allegedly burnt, Ozor wrote the hospital demanding that entitlements of his brother be paid to him. 

He equally demanded that the doctors should give him the detailed account of expenses made from the funds they contributed into a dedicated bank account for the treatment of his late brother.   

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