The Delta State Coordinator of the Pro-democracy and human rights group, TakeIt-Back, Ighorhiohwunu Aghogho has filed for the dismissal of the frivolous cyberstalking charges preferred against him by one P. N. Etumudon Esq. at the Registry of the Warri Division of the Federal High Court.
The charges were filed on July 21, 2022.
The Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by the Defendant-in-Person (Aghogho) as sighted by SaharaReporters at the Court Registry was dated October 30, 2023 with the following grounds: The six counts alleged are commission of federal offences; the charges were not filed by the office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation; the charges were filed by one P. N. Etumudon Esq., who is not a prosecuting authority and not working in the office of Honourable Attorney General of the Federation; and the charges were filed without a fiat/authorization of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation directly issued to P. N. Etumudon Esq.
Other grounds are that P. N. Etumudon Esq filed the charges without deposing to an affidavit that she was authorized to do so and that investigation into the matter had been concluded and in the opinion of the Prosecutor, a prima facie case exists against the Defendant; the filing of the charges amounts to abuse of court process; lack of jurisdiction; the charges were fundamentally defective; the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has called for the dismissal of the charges; all counsels from the office of the Attorney -General of Delta State are prosecuting on behalf of P. N. Etumudon Esq without a fiat/authorization.
The Application was brought pursuant to section 174(1)&(2) of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria and Section 104(1)&(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015. Rule 1(a), (b) &3(b) of the Federal High Court Practice Direction (on criminal trials) 2013 was supported with 18 paragraphs of affidavit, exhibits and a written address.
It seeks to withdraw the earlier Notice of Preliminary Objection filed by Kunle Edun Esq. (former counsel for Aghogho) on 10/2/2023 which was ignored by Justice Okon Abang on April 26 during the hearing of the case.
The following reliefs were sought: (1) An Order dismissing the charges; (2) An Order directing the Prosecutor to release to the Defendant, a Tecno model mobile phone containing the Defendant’s GLO and MTN sim cards; (3) Compensation for five hundred billion (N500Billion) naira against the Prosecutors jointly and severally for false, frivolous and vexatious prosecution and detention.
SaharaReporters reported on April 26 how Justice Okon Abang opted for bail and settlement out of court and proceeded to grant bail to Aghogho with a stringent condition. The same was marred by illegal bail bond business as it relates to one Mr. Atubi Johnson Oghenekevwe, a suspected unregistered surety operating at the Federal High Court, Warri Division.
Aghogho was arrested for calling for a probe into child trafficking by state actors in Delta State. He was first arraigned on holding charges at the Magistrate Court in Asaba in June 2022 and remanded at the Federal Custodial Centre, Ogwashi-Uku.
He was further arraigned at the Federal High Court, Warri Division on October 12, 2022, on six counts bordering on cyberstalking and was remanded at the Federal Correctional Centre, Warri on the same date.