Justice Mohammed Madugu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has dismissed charges of impersonation brought against Edozie Njoku, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). The case, initiated by the Nigeria Police Force, crumbled as the prosecution failed to substantiate its claims.
Njoku and APGA’s National Youth leader, Chukwuemeka Nwoga, faced 14 counts related to alleged impersonation and conspiracy to tamper with a Supreme Court judgement delivered by Justice Mary Peter Odili (retd). However, Justice Madugu ruled on Tuesday that the prosecution, led by Ezekiel Rinasonte, lacked both substantial documentary and oral evidence.
Citing the absence of a convincing case presented by the prosecution, Justice Madugu declared, “I find the 1st defendant, Chief Edozie Njoku, and the 2nd defendant, Chukwuma Nwoga, not guilty as charged, and therefore they have been discharged and acquitted.”
The defence counsel successfully argued that the burden of proof rested on the police, asserting that they failed to meet the legal requirement. The court, in assessing the evidence, concurred that internal disputes within APGA complicated the case.
Addressing the 14 counts, the court emphasized the necessity of proving criminal conspiracy through circumstantial evidence. It concluded that the prosecution’s witnesses did not establish any link between the defendants and an agreement to commit the alleged offences.
Furthermore, the court highlighted the failure of the prosecution to demonstrate any dishonest intent in Chief Njoku’s communication with Justice Mary Peter Odili, as required by Section 178 of the penal code.
In essence, Justice Madugu’s ruling underscored the insufficiency of evidence in the 14-count charge, leading to the acquittal of the defendants. The legal victory for Edozie Njoku serves as a notable development in this high-profile case.