Member of the House of Representative pardoned
An Abuja Magistrate Court today granted an official pardon and quashed all charges against Honorable Austin Nwachukwu, a member of the House of Representative, who was charged for unlawful use of tear gas and causing bodily harm to one of his colleagues during the House free-for-all fight in June this year.
Chief Magistrate Oyebisi Oyewunmi arrived at the decision to let Nwachukwu go as there was no evidence connecting him to the alleged crime following the inability of the House of Representatives to provide any witness(es).
Justice Oyewunmi ruled, based on the ‘no case submission’ argued by counsel to Nwachukwu, that from the whole evidence put forward by only one witness called by
the police, there was no prima-facie case established against the lawmaker.
The Jugde held that the absence of the Clerk of the House, Alhaji M.A Sani Omori who wrote the petition against Nwachukwu and the Deputy Speaker Bayero Nafada showed that they have abandoned the case.
Oyewunmi also posited that the refusal of the victim of the alleged assault Hon. Chinyere Igwe, to make a statement to police and his consequent failure to appear in court to testify was critical to the case of the prosecution and wondered why the Clerk and Deputy Speaker of the House would stay away from court after they had initiated the criminal prosecution through the police.
Nwachukwu was on trial for allegedly pouring a chemical substance on the face of a fellow lawmaker to cause him severe injury contrary to the penal code.
All the lawmakers scheduled to testify against Nwachukwu kept away because it is against their standing rules, thereby creating a leeway for his counsel to ask the court to strike out the charge.