Daily Trust

Court Throws Out Forgery Case Against Traders

Justice Mohammed Idris sitting at the Federal High Court, Lagos, Tuesday threw out a four count-forgery charge filed by the police against three traders, for lack of diligent prosecution.

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The three men were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris by the policemen from State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) Panti-Yaba, Lagos, on a four count-charge bordering on conspiracy and forgery. 

They are- lkeaka Clement Chukwuebuka, 34, James Obiechina Chekwube 39, and Oraeke Benjamin Onyeka, 32 .

Police in the charge marked FHC/L/../2017, alleged that the three traders had sometimes between 2015 and 2016, at Agric Market, Orile Coker, Lagos,conspired among themselves and forged a trademark.

The police also alleged that the three traders falsely applies a trademark code "lCLlCLlS" to their products such "Ceramic tiles, doors, water closet and others so nearly resembled ”IDDIS” a duly registered trade mark in China and Nigeria, belonging to one Mr. M.A. Qian Li who is the owner and the proprietor of the said trade mark, so to be calculated to deceive the unsuspected public.

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The offences according to the prosecutor, Mr. Anyigor Innocent, are contrary to sections 10, 3(b), and punishable under sections 3(3)(a) of the Merchandise Marks Act. Cap. M10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. 

The three freed men had pleaded not guilty to all the charges when they were first arraigned before the court early last year, and they were subsequently admitted to bail on different terms.

After their arraignment, the prosecution had failed to open his case on three occasions.

At the resumed trial of the three men yesterday, their lawyers, Aso Kalu Etea and I’ve Asemudare, urged the court, to dismissed charge against their clients, due to non-diligent prosecution.

In urging the court to dismiss the charge, both Etea and Asemudara, told the court that for three occasions that the matter have been slated for trial, the prosecutor had failed to show before the court.

Urging the court to dismiss the charge against the their clients, their lawyer cited section 351 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

"The conduct of the prosecution, this is the third time the matter is slated for trial, the prosecution is not ready.

"This is glaring that the prosecution is lacking in prosecuting its case. Its against the law of speedy trial.

"In the circumstance, we hereby urged the court to dismiss the charge against all the defendants".

After the submissions of the defendants’ lawyers, Justice Idris pronounced that the "charges against all the defendants is hereby dismissed".