9 November 2017

Nigeria: Police Drop 90-Count Charge Against Peace Corps Boss

Abuja — The Nigerian police yesterday dropped the 90-count criminal charges brought against the National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, Amb Dickson Akoh.

However, a new 13-counts charge has been brought to replace the old charge.

The police authorities have been engaged in a running battle with the Peace Corps Commandant in the last one year over the plan to transform the Corps into a statutory body through an Act of the National Assembly.

No reasons were given by the police for the sudden withdrawal of the charges.

However, the AGF office was said to have found most of the charges frivolous, baseless and cannot be substantiated before any court of record.

The office was also said to have discovered that virtually all the 90-count charges were duplications of one another done by the police shortly after the Corporate Head Office of the PCN was invaded on February 28, 2017 during its official commissioning in Abuja.

A team of legal experts were said to have been put in place by the AGF, which reviewed the 90-count charge and came to the conclusion that the charges be reduced and compressed to only 13.

Although, the trial of Akoh was slated for yesterday, a counsel from the AGF office, Mrs T. V. C Kuku informed Justice John Tsoho, that the AGF had amended the charge and reduced the 90-count charges to only 13, by dropping 77 of the charges in the old charge sheet.

The counsel, submitted that the defendant (Akoh) had not been served with the amended charge personally as required by law and pleaded with Justice Tsoho to grant an adjournment in the matter to enable the defendant to be served in line with the provision of the law.

Counsel to the defendant, Mr. John Ochogwu did not object to the request for adjournment by the prosecution.

The police had early in the year frozen 24 bank accounts belonging to the Peace Corps Commandant and state commands of the Corps and other officers.

Although, the accounts were frozen through an order of Justice Tsoho, the order was however set aside by the same Judge upon discovery that Police acted in bad fate in freezing the account in the first instance.

Justice Tsoho, in his ruling, while vacating the order, held that police engaged in gross abuse of court process on the ground that earlier order freezing the Peace Corps account was obtained at a magistrate court in Abuja and was set aside by the same magistrate court following a counter motion of the Peace Corps.


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