Abuja Court dismisses fraud charges against UK-based doctor, wife

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja has dismissed fraud charges filed against a United Kingdom-based Nigerian medical doctor, Reuben Obaro and his wife, Ayodele Obaro, a UK-based nurse.

Justice A. O. Ebong, who dismissed the eight charges against the medical doctor, held that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission acted in bad faith in filing the charge.

Delivering ruling in a no-case submission argued by J. N. Egwuonwu (SAN), on behalf of the couple, Justice Ebong held that the eight charges were unfounded and could not be established against the defendants as required by law.

The ICPC had arraigned the couple before the court on allegations that N186m out of the sum of N450m seed grant given to them by the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme in aid of an hospital project was misappropriated.

However, after calling five witnesses, and tendering several documents, the ICPC closed its case prompting the defendants to file a no-case submission.

Justice Ebong in the ruling obtained by journalists on Thursday, held that the ICPC failed to prove ingredients of conspiracy, misappropriation and given false information charges against the two medical personnel beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Ebong therefore discharged and acquitted the defendants from the eight charges on the grounds that prima facie case was not made against them to warrant their being called upon to make any defence.

He said, “I find no evidence to support the eight count charges against the defendants and I pronounced them not guilty of the charges but I like to say that it does not appear that there was any reasonable grounds to have filed the charges against the defendants.

“This sort of dubious and frivolous attack on the character and reputation of renowned persons like the defendants cannot help the Federal Government to get deserved foreign investors it is yearning for.

“Our investigators and prosecuting agencies should have a rethink on how they go about exercising their power so as not to inflict injuries on the citizens through malicious damage.” Punch

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