A Federal Capital Territory High Court, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, on Friday barred journalists from covering and witnessing the late gospel singer, Osinachi children’s testimony.
The move was as a result of the court granting the three oral applications made by Aderonke Imana, the prosecution counsel, on June 22.
The counsel filed the applications during the court hearing in the alleged culpable homicide case against Peter Nwachukwu, the late singer’s husband.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the three oral applications made by Imana include:
The first one was brought pursuant to the provision of sections 156 and 158 of the Child Rights Act.
The application sought that persons other than the parties in the matter, the court officials, correctional staff and the witness’ guardians should not be allowed in the court when the witnesses would give their testimonies.
The second application Imana brought was premised on section 160 of the Child Rights Act and section 209 of the Evidence Act.
The application prayed the court to allow the other two witnesses, who are the deceased children, being minors to give unsworn evidence as Pw3 and Pw4.
The final application brought was pursuant to section 1, 2 (1) and 157 of the Child Rights Act urged the court to allow the witnesses to be brought to the court blind folded and for their faces to be shielded.
The Judge, Justice Njideka Nwosu-Iheme had then, granted the three prayers after which the defendant’s counsel I.A Aliyu did not object to the applications.
Nwosu-Iheme therefore held that the applications were in the best interest of the children which is paramount and must be considered during proceeding, for the children to be shielded while giving their testimonies.
The court had on June 3 ordered that the defendant be 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 is standing trial on 23 counts bordering on domestic violence and homicide.
The defendant is accused of been responsible for the death of the late gospel singer who was popularly known for her song “Ekwueme”.
Nwachukwu was arrested by the police after his wife Osinachi died on April 8 following widespread allegations by their children, family and colleagues that he battered her.
The deceased mother and two sisters had on June 21 and 22 given their testimonies in chief, Pw1 and Pw2 respectively.