- Catholic priest reportedly raped a minor
- Religious father faces fresh charges
- Reverend Ochigbo remanded in prison custody
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) police command, Abuja on Tuesday, August 30, stated that it has finished plans to arraign a Catholic priest, Reverend Father Anthony Ochigbo, before an Abuja High Court over allegation of raping a 10-year-old girl.
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The officer-in-charge of legal matters at the FCT police command, James Idachaba, revealed this after he applied and withdrew the first one-count rape charge the police brought against the Catholic priest before an Abuja Upper Area Court at Gudu.
The Upper Area court judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, on Monday, August 29, said Rev Ochigbo should be put behind bars, despite the fact that he adjourned ruling on the defendant’s application for bail.
Although, when the case was reopened, the prosecuting counsel, chief superintendent of police, Idachaba, urged the Upper Area Court judge to leave the case for a higher court to take over the rape case.
The officer-in-charge, who based his application on Section 106 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, emphasised that the Upper Area Court did not possess the required jurisdiction to take over the case.
Idachaba informed the court that it was the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who gave the nod to the transfer of the rape case to a higher court.
Inspite of the objection by the defence counsel, Godwin Chukwukere, the court agreed to the withdrawal request.
Kagarko stated that he had no alternative than to strike out the initial First Information Report brought to him and discharge the defendant. Moreso, the Reverend father is still in police custody awaiting his arraignment before the high court.
Earlier reports on Wednesday, August 31 had it that the Reverend father who has been re-arraigned to a higher court, was discharged by the Upper Area court.