Lagos State sues TACHA… she appears in court

Lagos State sues TACHA… she appears in court

Former BBNaija housemate Anita Akide, popularly known as Tacha, is facing charges of disorderly behaviour and turning the Murtala Muhammed International Airport into a public nuisance.

Tacha appeared before the trial court, a magistrate’s court in the Ogba area of Lagos, on Friday, in a trial that only came to the attention of the press on Friday after over two years of quiet criminal proceedings instituted against the TV reality show star by the Lagos State Government.

The charges accused her of creating chaos during her encounter with health officials and of leading other passengers to resist the officials at the airport in May 2021.

The Lagos State Government charged the 2019 BBNaija Season 4 housemate on 3 August 2021, accusing her of violating the state’s public health and broader criminal laws.

She was arraigned in August 2021 but she deny wrongdoing by pleading not guilty to the two counts filed against her.

The trial started on 18 November 2021, and the prosecution called its witnesses against her, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

After the prosecution closed its case, Tacha’s legal team filed a no-case submission urging the magistrate to dismiss the charges on the grounds of the alleged failure of the prosecution to present any credible evidence to support its case.

Her lawyers argued that it would be pointless for the court to direct her to enter defence when the prosecution had failed to establish any wrongdoing against her during the presentation of its case.

The defence filed the no-case submission which was opposed by the prosecution.

The magistrate, Folashade Hughes, in a subsequent ruling, dismissed the no-case submission and ordered the defendant to enter her defence.

She has since opened and closed her defence, and parties were subsequently directed by the court to file their final written addresses.

Friday was fixed for a hearing where parties were to adopt their written addresses and make their closing submissions in the case.

But at Friday’s proceeding, the prosecutor, Dare Dada, pleaded with the court to adjourn the hearing.

He said he only received a filing from Tacha’s legal team that morning and would need time to file his response.

He requested that the matter be adjourned till 4 March to afford him enough time to file a robust response.

However, the magistrate expressed concerns over the length of time the prosecutor requested to file his response. She said the two-month period requested for such a filing “was unnecessarily too long”.

But she bent backwards to adjourn hearing until 14 March as requested by the prosecution.

It is expected that the magistrate will, on 14 March, adjourn for judgement after parties’ adoption of their final written addresses.

Tacha is facing two counts in the trial that stemmed from a likely rough encounter she had with health officials at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, in May 2021.

The charges captured on one page seen by PREMIUM TIMES do not have the details of the circumstances leading to the situation alleged in the case.

But the prosecutor said it took place at about 5 a.m. on 27 May 2021 at the Port Health Official Desk of the international airport.

The government alleged in one of the charges that she conducted herself “in a manner injurious to the health of the citizens of Lagos State, thereby committing “a Nuisance”.

By doing so, the prosecution alleged that she committed an offence contrary to Section 6(m) of the Public Health Law, 2015, and punishable under Section 58 of the same law.

In the second count, she was accused of conducting herself in a disorderly manner by forcefully snatching her passport and leading “some other passengers to resist the team of Health Officials led by Dr Abimbola Bowale, Officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Health in the discharge of their lawful duties”.

The charge described the alleged conduct as “unruly and likely to cause a breach of public peace”, a conduct the prosecution said was contrary to Section 168(1)(d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015 and punishable under section 168(2) of the law.


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Idowu Babalola

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