Judge blasts NSCDC prosecution over poorly drafted charge

Judge blasts NSCDC prosecution over poorly drafted charge

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday, chided the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), over a poorly drafted criminal charge before the court.

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The judge noted that most of the cases before him which were prosecuted by the Corps, were also poorly handled.

Buba made the statement following the arraignment by the NSCDC, of two accused, Adewale Seun and Lukumon Bello, charged with belonging to an unlawful society.

The NSCDC had slammed a three count-charge on the accused for belonging to an unlawful society on the Nigerian territorial Waters.

In the first count, the accused were said to have in January, at their base in Oto-Awori, Badagry, conspired to commit a felony by being in an unlawful society, and assisting in the management of unlawful society.

In another count, they were also said to have on Jan. 11, assisted in the management of an unlawful society.

The offences were said to have contravened the provisions of sections 63 (a) and 516 (a) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation, 2004.
However, justice Buba pointed out some errors in the charge, adding that it did not disclose the “actual” offence committed by the accused.

The judge had queried: “which society are you referring to”

In response, the prosecutor, Mrs. Michael-Essien Chinyere, explained that the accused persons belonged to the Nigerian Naval Merchant, an unauthorised naval security outfit, which he said had been proscribed by law.

Meanwhile, when the charge was read to the accused, who were not represented by lawyers, they pleaded not guilty to the three counts.

Justice Buba granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000 each, with one surety each in like sum.

The judge, however, ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody pending when they perfect their bail conditions.

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