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Freedom regained Court discharges, acquits woman accused of murder

The FCT Police Command, had in 2012, charged the accused before Justice Vera Venda for the alleged crime, contrary to the provision of Section 226 of the Penal Code.

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An FCT High Court, Jabi, has discharged and acquitted a 32-year-old woman, Chima Chukwu, who was charged with the death of Chizoba Nwafor in Abuja.

The FCT Police Command, had in 2012, charged Chukwu before Justice Vera Venda for the alleged crime, contrary to the provision of Section 226 of the Penal Code.

Venda on Wednesday held that the investigation carried out by the police did not reveal the extent of the fall of the decease that resulted in her death.

According to Venda, the major evidence to prove Nwafor’s death placed before the court is doubtful.

The Judge, however, resolved the issue in favour of the defendant, adding that the police had not done a diligent investigation.

She said the court could only convict a defendant in a matter of this nature when the case was proved beyond reasonable doubt.

“In the circumstance, the defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence,’’ she said.

The judge advised Chukwu to stay away from trouble, anger and uncontrolled actions, adding that she should be calm and patient while integrating into the society.

The charge read that disagreement ensued between Chukwu and Nwafor on a mobile telephone voucher worth N20, 215, the former sold to the later on credit.

The defendant had averred that the deceased had refused to pay her within the period of the agreed date.

Chukwu had testified that Nwafor, who was her customer, told her that she misplaced the bag containing the voucher, leading to her inability to re-sell them.

The defendant further averred that she had doubted the excuse advanced by the deceased and as a result pushed her slightly.

Mr Emeka Ugwu, the Prosecuting Officer, had told the court that the push from the defendant landed Nwafor on the ground and resulted in her death.

Ugwu said that it was clear that Chuwku’s action led to the death of the deceased.

However, Mr Sunny Tabi, counsel to the defendant, had argued that the weight of the push was not heavy enough to inflict any substantial injury on the deceased.

He also said the prosecution had not provided autopsy result to ascertain that the impact of the push resulted in Nwafor’s death.

“My lord, it is not enough to convict the defendant based on the section of the law she was charged with. The death of Nwafor was not premeditated.

“The deceased could have died from another ailment, may be heart attack.

“We pray the court to discharge and acquit the defendant on grounds of poor investigation and insufficient evidence,’’  he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendant, who was immediately set free had been remanded in prison custody since 2012.

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