Abia: Incomplete court processes delays Nollywood actress’ trial

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The incomplete transmission of court processes by the State Prosecution Counsel to the judge’s case file stalled Wednesday’s scheduled hearing of Nollywood actress, Chioma Toplis’ case at an Umuahia High Court.

The trial Judge, Justice Uchechi Enwereji, said that she could not hear the matter because the judicial documents of the case file transferred to her were incomplete.

Justice Ogechi Okeahialam had recused herself from presiding over the case, following weighty allegations and other sordid revelations made in court.

The development led to the case being reassigned to another court for continuation of hearing.

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The actress is standing trial for alleged criminal defamation in a case with Suit NO: HU/181/2022, following some Facebook posts she allegedly made in May 2021.

In a one-count charge by the Inspector General of Police, she was accused of calling Chief Uche Akwukwuegbu, a rapist and ritualist.

Akwukwuegbu, popularly called Bawas, is the Chief Executive Officer of Bawas Oil, a prominent chief in Amuzukwu Umuahia Community and a brother-in-law to Toplis.

Upon arraignment, the actress was remanded and later granted administrative bail.

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But when the matter came up for hearing, the state prosecution counsel filed a fresh petition, accusing the defendant of continuous publication of alleged defamation and intimidating the prosecution witness.

However, Counsel for the defendant, Mr Kelechi Eze, said that the prosecution counsel lied against his client and asked for an evidence of the said publication.

Eze also told the court that the Zone 9 Police Command, Umuahia had yet to release to his client the landed and house documents used to meet her bail condition.

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The judge, however, asked for the evidence of the publication, which  the prosecution counsel could not tender.

The matter was adjourned to March 19 and Mach 20.

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