What we witnessed in court presided over by his worship M. N. Mbanefo on the 4th and 6th days of August, 2021 was a show of shame, a theatre of the absurd and a macabre dance, unparalleled in the judicature of Anambra State, Nigeria. The Magistrate went beyond his bounds according to Sc.132 (1) ACJL 2010 by hearing a murder charge instead of binding over straight away.
The Magistrate on 4th of August, 2021 when the Prosecuting Counsel sought for an Amendment in the charge, the learned trial Magistrate held that he has no Jurisdiction for first time to hear so he can’t amend; thereby asking the Prosecuting Counsel to go and put his house in order. But he went ahead to hear it on the 6th day of August 2021 when the Prosecution put his house in order and brought a new charge, he heard the argument and held that there is no Prima Facie case established.
On the 6th day of August 2021 he also went ahead in open court to quarrel with the Police who took the defendants they brought to court from their police cell back to the police station after the proceedings on 4th August, 2021when he held that he has no jurisdiction, the implication of this is that he wanted to leave the defendants to go.
The magistrate went out of his way to hear argument on a matter involving a murder charge. He also went ahead to inquire into murder charge and held that there is no prima facie case of murder and that murder was not established in charge No: MCU/33C/2021. This finding made by the learned trial magistrate His worship M. N. Mbanefo at the Magistrate Court Ukpo, was done without jurisdiction in view of Sc.132 (1)ACJL 2010.
The trial Magistrate also made a subtle attempt to grant Bail to the defendants by hearing an application for Bail made by Azubuike Okeke Esq. Counsel to the defendant former DPP in the murder charge. This attempt was made to give him a leeway to further grant bail to the other Defendant who may likely be arraigned on Monday the 9th day of August, 2021 on a charge of illegal possession of firearms and murder.
The attitude of the Magistrate in conducting this matter so far shows manifest bias, compromise and judicial rascality.
Chief O.C. Emeruwa Esq.,
Chinyere Ezechukwu Esq.,
K.K Oguejiofor Esq.,
Jude Onyejegbu Esq.,
Izuchukwu Jeff Oyinze Esq.,
CC: P.C. Udeorah
DCR, MAGISTRATE COURTS
JUDICIARY HEADQUARTERS AWKA
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