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Politics

Court Acquits Atiku Ally, Farah Dagogo Of Criminal Charges

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A former member of the National Assembly, Farah Dagogo, was acquitted of criminal charges by a High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday, clearing him of all accusations brought by the Rivers State Government.

Dagogo, a close associate of Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, previously represented the Degema-Bonny Constituency in the House of Representatives.

His arrest occurred on April 28, 2022, in Port Harcourt, coinciding with his appearance for screening as a PDP governorship aspirant at the party’s South-South zonal secretariat.

The arrest followed a declaration by the then Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who accused Dagogo of sponsoring thugs and cultists to disrupt the PDP screening exercise for National Assembly and State Assembly aspirants.

Dagogo denied these allegations, describing them as baseless charges aimed at preventing his gubernatorial bid. He was granted bail in June 2022, after spending 63 days in detention.

In the case labeled PHC/1440/CR/2022, titled “The State v Hon Farah Dagogo,” Justice Chinwendu Nworgu criticized the prosecution for lacking diligence, resulting in Dagogo’s discharge and acquittal.

Following the ruling, Dagogo’s lead counsel, Sir Cosmas Enweluzo, SAN, stated that the court’s decision had completely freed Dr. Farah Dagogo from the charges, ensuring the case cannot be reopened in any Nigerian court.

Enweluzo explained, “The court dismissed the charge and discharged and acquitted Hon. Dr. Farah Dagogo due to the absolute lack of diligent prosecution. The prosecution lost its momentum, and the court cannot indefinitely require an accused or defendant to attend court, hindering their movements and wasting their time.

“The court’s consideration led to the charge being struck out and the defendant being discharged and acquitted. This means no other charges can be brought against Farah Dagogo related to this case.

Enweluzo stated that any further action would constitute double jeopardy since the decision is final and prevents the case from being resurrected.

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