Defendant’s mischief misled police to detain siblings, detective tells court
An Awka Chief Magistrate Court 3 in Anambra State has adjourned to November 18, this year, the case of defamation of character brought against one Joseph Nnajiofor of Amachalla village, Amenyi-Awka.
Nnajiofor had petitioned the Police against his sibling- Ozo Obiekwe Nnajiofor and others- accusing them of kidnapping and inflicting grievous physical injuries on him and dumping him in a bush in a faraway location, thereby making the Police arrest the Complainants.
A Police detective, Kalu Onyemelam, an Assistant Superintendent (ASP), from the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID) of the state Police Command, explained that when the case was assigned to him to investigate, after a thorough job, he discovered that it was orchestrated false information.
The officer said: “I studied the case file carefully, saw that the defendant made a statement that one Anyanti Joseph, a lawyer, who claimed to be a good Samaritan, had picked the victim (Nnajiofor) where he was lying unconscious inside a bush in Abagana area in a pool of blood and took him to the Police station.
“I invited them (defendant and lawyer) on several occasion to report at the SCID through the phone numbers they attached, but they refused to honour the invitation.”
This, he disclosed, led to the arrest of the Defendant for presenting false and misleading information to the Police.
Earlier, a State Counsel, G. B. Obi, told the court that the defendant was yet to settle out of court with his brother (the Complainant), as promised and agreed before the court earlier, which was also admitted by the defence Counsel.
Nnajiofor had been sentenced to two months community service of clearing the Magistrate Court premises, one month imprisonment and N500, 000 as compensation to the Complainant for monies spent in tracing, trailing and tracking the defendant down to face the contempt charge for jumping bail and absconding.
Nnajiofor, in a two-count charge, reference MAW 162c/ 2016, was charged with giving false and misleading information to the Police, which led to the arrest, detention and interrogation of Ozo Obiekwe Nnajiofor, Rev. Cannon Kenneth Maduka, John Nnajiofor, Christopher Nnake, Okechukwu Nnajiofor and Joseph Ifeatu Okonkwo.
The Police prosecutor told the court that relying on the unfortunate misleading and false information the officers from the Abagana Divisional Police station and the SCID headquarters arrested, interrogated and detained the six men.
The offence, according to the Police, is punishable under Section 154(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 36 Vol. 11, Revised Laws of Anambra State of Nigeria 1997, as amended.