A Federal Capital Territory High Court on Monday, stepped down the case of alleged culpable homicide against Peter Nwachukwu, husband of the late gospel singer, Osinachi over multiple representstion of counsels..
When the matter slated for hearing before Justice Njideka Nwosu-Iheme came up, the Prosecution Counsel, Aderonke Imana, informed the court that the matter was for hearing and that they were ready to proceed.
A. Ogbonna also announced his appearance as watching briefs of the nominal complainant.
But Peter’s lawyer, Victor Abakpa Esq, announced to Justice N.K. Nwosu-Iheme that his principal had transferred the matter to another counsel, I.A. Aliyu.
He therefore urged the court to shift it to another day so that he and the new counsel could sort out the issue.
Abakpa explained that he was just served with additional proof of evidence by the prosecution, the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
I.A Aliyu on his part informed the court that he was briefed by the defendant on June 18 to take over the case.
The court, therefore, stepped down the case to 11 am in order for counsel to align themselves and come properly before it..
“I stand down the matter till 11 am for defendant counsels to align themselves”, she said.
Recall that Peter had pleaded not guilty to 23 count charges bordering on domestic violence, homicide, wrong restraint among others.
The judge had ordered accelerated hearing of the case on June 3 and remanded Nwachukwu in Kuje Correctional Centre.
He was arrested by the Nigeria Police after his wife died on April 8 following widespread allegations by their children, family and colleagues that he battered her leading to her death.
According to the charge, the crime Nwachukwu allegedly committed contravenes Sections 104 and 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) 2015, Section 221 of the Penal Code and the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPP) 2015.
The charge partly read: “That you Peter Nwachukwu, 56, male, on the April 8 at Aco Estate, opposite Police Station, Lugbe, Abuja, FCT, within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit an offence to with: culpable homicide punishable with death in that you caused the death of Osinachi.
“This was caused by your various acts of violence and aggravated assault with the knowledge that her death would be the probable consequence of your act.
“Particulars of offence: That you, Peter Nwachukwu, male, sometime between Nov. 14, 2009, and April 2022 at Aco Estate, opposite Police Station, Lugbe, Abuja, FCT, within the jurisdiction of this court, did commit an offence to wit: emotional, verbal and psychological abuse on Mrs Osinachi Nwachukwu (deceased).
“This was caused by humiliating her and making utterances like ‘you are smelling,’ ‘you are mad,’ to her in the presence of her music crew members.”
The statement of offence bordered on emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse contrary to Section 14(1) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
Meanwhile, family members of the late gospel artist, Including her twin sister, mother, a granny and other members including the children were at the Court on Monday.