By Elijah Ugani
A magistrate court sitting in Calabar, the Cross River State capital has struck out a criminal case against social media critic, Mr. Ifere Paul for want of prosecution.
Chief Magistrate Rita Mashael of court 1 Moore road, who ruled over the matter relied on Section 277 of the criminal code in her judgment and struck out the matter for obvious want of prosecution.
Mr. Ifere was first arraigned on October 23, 2017 before E. E. Edogi Esq. a Chief Magistrate Grade One on two charges of circulating injurious publications through his WhatsApp and Facebook social media pages respectively.
These were contained in Charge No. MC/1140C/2017 between COMMISSIONER OF POLICE v IFERE PAUL ‘M’ 41 YEARS and Charge No. MC: 1141C/2017.
But, his legal team led by Mr. Utum Eteng had prayed the court to strike out the case on his eight appearance.
Mr. Eteng argued that the court lacked jurisdiction and citing section 66 and 277 of the criminal code, prayed the court to strike the case out.
“Nowhere stated on the charge sheet before you that the accused person resides in Calabar but Ugep,” Eteng argued.
He continued: “Section 66 of the criminal procedure law, states clearly the conditions for jurisdiction, and so this court sitting in Calabar can not assume jurisdiction over these matters.
“My worship strike it out let them go to the proper jurisdiction, we will come with them. We have come before the previous magistrate five times and before you three times.”
CrossRiverWatch had reported that the non appearance of the prosecution counsel and complainant had stalled the case.
Reacting to the judgement; Mr. Eteng hailed the magistrate’s decision and mainland that: “We have come to court for the eight time, and on section 277, when the complainant is not in court for several times, the court can not be stalled.”
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.