Civil Liberty Organisation of Nigeria Demands Immediate Probe Of Magistrates Death

By KayCee June 9, 2014 17:57

The Civil Liberty Organization, (CLO), On Monday demanded an enquiry into the death of Magistrate Mrs Ifeoma Nneji, two days after she was remanded in prison.

The CLO in a petition made available to Newsmen in Enugu called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the National Judicial Council, NJC, to as a matter of urgency carry out investigation into the magistrate’s death.

The late magistrate and her husband Mr. Nneji were remanded in prison custody on the 2nd June 2014; by an Enugu State Magistrate court presided over by Mr. A.C. Mbah, for alleged conspiracy, false information and attempted murder.

South East Zonal Director of CLO, Olu Omotayo, who signed the petition, said “The death of the Magistrates brings to fore the injustice that has pervaded the administration of criminal justice in the Magistrates’ court in Enugu State and this has empowered and encourage the police in Enugu to at will charge anybody for any of the so called serious offences like attempted murder, attempted rape, attempted robbery and offences relating to child abuse or trafficking in persons, even with no evidence whatsoever to sustain the charge.

“The police in Enugu are very much aware that most of these Magistrates in Enugu are not abreast with the law and the need to at all times protect the fundamental rights of citizens who appeared or are arraigned in their courts”.

 He added that “for the citizens of this great country to enjoy the fundamental rights guaranteed them under the Nigerian Constitution in our present democratic institution, the erring judicial officers should be called to order.

“Magistrates in Enugu don’t ask questions once an unlucky victim appear before them and is arraigned by the police for any of the above-mentioned serious offences; they waste no time in remanding the victim in prison custody.

 “In the Late Ifeoma Nneji’s case, her remand, alongside her husband for attempted murder was sequel to an altercation between them and a tenant living on the husband’s premises.

“Our findings revealed that the female tenant in question, who is the complainant in the attempted murder charge is hale and hearty and walking freely and enjoying herself round Enugu city. This showed the callousness with which police in Enugu collaborate with any wicked complainant to deal with innocent citizens in the state in conjunction with magistrates

in the state”.

The CLO insisted that” the Magistrate A.C. Mbah, who remanded the late Nneji did not act in consonance with the provisions of the law, which provides that the complainant should always be present in court and even if the complainant should be absent in court for medical reasons, there must be medical report to that effect from a recognized government hospital, stating the state of health of the complainant”.

The organization wondered why what should have been referred to as assault graduated to attempted murder.

“Furthermore, A.C. Mbah Esq. was wrong to have even entertained a charge of conspiracy against Late Nneji and her husband because it is an elementary principle of law that a husband and wife of English marriage cannot be charged for conspiracy”, he stated.


The CLO, therefore, demanded for immediate release of Mr. Nneji who is in Enugu Prison as well as the immediate sack of A.C. Mbah from the lower bench.



By KayCee June 9, 2014 17:57