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Court discharges former Air Peace manager of forgery, stealing

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo
09 March 2022   |   3:15 am
A Lagos Magistrate Court sitting in Ogba has discharged a former Duty Manager of Air Peace, Shola Ogunwuyi, of forgery and stealing charges preferred against him by the police.

 
A Lagos Magistrate Court sitting in Ogba has discharged a former Duty Manager of Air Peace, Shola Ogunwuyi, of forgery and stealing charges preferred against him by the police.
   
Magistrate Oluwatosin Fogbohun in her ruling on a ‘no case submission’, held that no evidence was laid by the prosecution to support  that the seal or mark was forged.
 
“No document or material was adduced to have been forged by the defendant,” the court ruled. Ogunwuyi was arraigned by the police on a four-count charge of conspiracy to commit felony, forging of seal or mark, stealing by conversion and unauthorised modification of computer data on May 22, 2019.

  
But she pleaded not guilty to all counts. The police alleged that her offence was as contrary to section 411, 363(2), 280(1)(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.
 
During trial, the prosecution called two witnesses; the Human Resources Manager for the nominal complainant (Air Peace) and the Investigative Police Officer (Bello Atiku) as prosecution witness two.
  
However, the IPO gave evidence for the prosecution but stopped going to court, thereby denying the defence counsel right to cross examine him.
  
The defendant lawyer therefore, filed a no case application. While ruling on a ‘no case submission’ of the defendant, the court held that, “It will therefore be proper that this court discountenance the evidence of PW2 (IPO).”
   
The Magistrate held that, “at the close of the prosecution’s case, counsel to the defendant filed a ‘No Case Submission’, while the prosecution, on the other hand, failed to react to the process.”
   
The court held that there was no prima facie case established against the defendant to warrant the defendant opening her defence.
   
After plethora of authorities, Magistrate Fagbohun ruled: “It is my well considered view that the evidence of the only witness of the prosecution, PW1 is so manifestly unreliable that no court or tribunal could safely convict on it as no prima facie case has been established against the defendant, which would have been sufficient to justify proceeding further with the trial against the defendant.
 
“I therefore uphold the no case submission of the defendant. Consequently, the defendant is accordingly discharged.” 

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