The Federal Capital Territory High Court on Monday stepped down the culpable homicide suit against Peter Nwachukwu over the alleged murder of his wife, Osinachi.
Osinachi, the singer of the famous gospel song, Ekwueme, died on April 8 after she was allegedly beaten and kicked in the chest by her husband, Peter Nwachukwu. Her husband has however claimed that his wife died of lung cancer.
The suit was stepped down by the judge in order for his lawyers to align themselves to represent him.
The Prosecution Counsel, Aderonke Imana, had informed the court, presided over by Justice Njideka Nwosu-Iheme on Monday when the matter came up that it was slated for hearing and that they were ready to proceed.
The News Agency of Nigeria’s report said that A. Ogbonna also announced his appearance as watching brief of the nominal complainant.
It reported that the counsel that represented the defendant during his arraignment, Victor Abakpa, however, prayed the court to adjourn the matter until Tuesday, as another lawyer from a different chamber just informed that he was taking over the case.
He further stated that he was equally served additional proof of evidence in the court just before the court started the day’s proceedings.
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.
The family members of the deceased singer, Osinachi were in court, including her two children, mother and twin sister.
SaharaReporters had reported that absence of the trial Judge stalled the case on June 16.
The defendant was earlier arraigned on June 3, and was remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre after he pleaded not guilty to the alleged homicide charge filed against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation.
He was therefore remanded pending the hearing and determination of the 23 counts bordering on domestic violence and homicide instituted against him.
Nwachukwu 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 he 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 Person’s Prohibition Act (VAPP) 2015.
The charge read in part: “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 N.
“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.
The late gospel singer was popularly known for her song “Ekwueme”.