Court strikes out theft case against teenager
From Akinnodi Francis, Ore
A Magistrates’ Court sitting in Odigbo, in Odigbo local government area of Ondo State yesterday struck out a house breaking case against a teenager over continuous absence of the complainant and the Investigative Police Officer in the court.
The presiding Magistrate, Mr TJ Ajayi, struck out the four count charge against one Anjuwon Olanrewaju, on the ground that the complainant had abandoned his case.
Olanrewaju was accused of breaking into the house of one Akinyemi Akintola, after which he allegedly stole some items belonging to the complainant.
The charge read in, part, “That you, Olanrewaju, also did escape from an hospital in Ore with the handcuff in your hand at about 5.00pm on May 26, 2019 and that you did willfully and unlawfully damage police handcuff valued at N6,000 property of the Nigeria Police.
The offences were said to contravene sections 411(2), 390(9), 135(a) and 451 of the Criminal Code cap 37 Volume 1. Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against him.
The police prosecutor, Sgt. Muideen Yekini, informed the court that, ” The complainant told me that he is no longer ready to pursue counts 1 and 2 on the charge. And I told him to be in court today. But when I called him this morning, he repeated the same thing. I therefore apply for a date sir.”
In his ruling, Magistrate T.J Ajayi, stated, “This is the third time the nominal complainant, investigative police officer and their witnesses have been absent in this case.
“From the submission of the prosecutor this morning, it is crystal clear that the complainant has abandoned this case.
“The law is well stated that when a defendant in a case is produced from custody or attends court voluntarily in answer to the charge levelled against him and the nominal complainant and his witnesses are absent without any communication to the court, the case should be struck out. See section 321 of the ACJL
“I hold that this case is caught by section 321 of the ACJL, 2015. Therefore, I hold that this case is hereby struck out.”