… as lawyers protest journalists’ presence on judgement day
By Joseph Albert (Umunna TV)
After over ten years legal battle, a Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting at Awka, Anambra State, has found one Okechukwu Udeogu guilty and convicted him for forcefully and unlawfully invading a widow’s compound with a masquerade called ‘Ovulikpo’.
The court, presided over by His Worship, Mike Anyadiegwu, PhD, while delivering his Judgement, recently, stated that the defendant, Okechukwu Udeogu who hails from Umuanum village in Nibo, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State, was guilty of three out of the six count charges brought against him and for which he was standing trial before the Honourable Court.
Among the charges were, that the defendant, Okechukwu Udeogu, forcefully invaded and took over the dwelling house of a widow, one Mrs. Beatrice Udeogu, and began to invoke, plant and worship juju in the said compound, with a view to alarming and causing apprehension in the widow.
Delivering his 15-paged judgement of six count charges brought against the defendant, Dr. Anyadiegwu also found him guilty of other charges, which included, threat to life and assault, resulting in physical injuries on the said widow.
He ordered the defendant to remove all the juju that he planted in the said widow’s compound and restore same to her, forthwith.
Sources said the complainant widow, Mrs Beatrice Udeogu, was the wife of the defendant’s late uncle who has no surviving male child of reasonable sound mind; and that the kindred had adjudicated on the matter in favour of the widow.
However, the defendant’s refusal to abide by the kindred- family’s decisions, prompted the long legal battle, which first commenced in 2012, and had passed through three different Learned Magistrates, until the 30th day of June, 2020, when the defendant was finally brought and arraigned before Dr. Mike Anyadiegwu of Awka Magisterial District, on a-six count charge.
The presiding Magistrate, in his legal pronouncements, noted that cases are not determined and won on number of witnesses brought to testify before a court; but on the potency and heavy weight of evidences before the court; stating further that, a court, being the last hope of the common man, must at all times, ensure justice for all persons, and especially, the protection of vulnerable persons in the society, from the excesses of others.
The defendant, Okechukwu Udeogu was remanded in Prison custody, following his conviction and case further adjourned to the 5th day of August, 2022, for sentencing.
Meanwhile, before the commencement of the day’s proceedings, lawyers present in the court protested against the presence of reporters who were on an official assignment at the court. Some of them who shouted and opposed to the media presence, argued that it was improper for the media to cover court’s proceedings on judgement day, alleging that someone could have procured the press to embarrass their clients.
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