It is not yet freedom for the two Nigerian journalists charged to court for forgery of President Goodluck Jonathan’s signature.
P.M.NEWs learnt that government’s withdrawal of the charge against the journalists at the Federal High Court in Abuja was meant to correct a legal blunder. The case ought to have been filed at a state court and not a Federal court.
‘The case may be refiled any time from now’, said a source close to the prosecution team led by Adegboyega Awomolo, a senior advocate of Nigeria.
The six count criminal charge of forgery slammed against the two journalists and their employer, Leadership Newspaper Group Ltd was withdrawn 30 April, the eve of Workers day.
The withdrawal was sequel to the notice of preliminary objection filed by the Journalists’ lawyer, Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, challenging the competence of the charge as well as the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to hear and determine the charge.
The notice of withdrawal/discontinuance of charges dated April 30, 2013 was filed Thursday at the Federal High Court.
Part of the notice of withdrawal reads: “Take notice that the complainant, the Hon. Attorney general of the federation intends that the criminal proceedings consisting 6-count charge against the accused persons, Tony Amokeodo, Chibuzor Ukaibe and LEADERSHIP Group ltd, be discontinued and the 6-counts against them are hereby withdrawn”.
Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, also a senior advocate of Nigeria prosecuting the accused persons signed for the AGF and Minister of justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke.