By Edith Nwapi
Abuja, – An FCT High Court, Maitama on Tuesday adjourned until April 27 for continuation of trial in a case of alleged child abduction preferred against two women.
The police charged Stella Ekwerekwu, 43 and Nkechi Ogbunankwo, 40, with criminal conspiracy and child abduction.
Justice Peter Kekemeke, adjourned for trial following an application by Prosecution Counsel, Simon Lough, SAN for his inability to bring a witness to court.
Lough had prayed the court for an adjournment explaining that a subpoenaed witness was not in the court,
Objecting, the Defence Counsel, Udoka Odiamma, told the court that the defendant comes from outside jurisdiction and that the said witness was not listed and other listed in the proof of evidence should be brought to court.
Justice Kekemeke asked the prosecution to bring their witness next adjourned date.
”I shall give you this one more adjournment the matter is adjourned until April 27 for the continuation of trial.”
The prosecution earlier told the court that sometime in October 2019, the defendants conspired and abducted an eight-month-old baby somewhere in Abuja.
The police alleged thatthe first defendant, took the child to her Dr Ekwerekwu, her husband, on his sick bed.
The police said Dr Ekwerekwu, who later passed on, rejected paternity of the child that Stella brought for him.
The police said this is contrary to provisions of Sections 27(1)(2)(b) of the Child’s Right Act, 2003 which states:
”No person shall remove or take a child out of the custody or protection of his father or mother, guardian or such other person having lawful care or charge of the child against the will of the father, mother, guardian or other person.
” A person who contravenes the provisions of Subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction.
”Where here the child is unlawfully removed or taken out of the state in which the father, mother, guardian or such other person who has lawful care of the child is ordinarily resident, to imprisonment for a term of 10 years.”
They defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge. (NAN