There was a mild drama at an Ebute-Meta Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after a 58-year-old textile dealer, Mrs. Taiwo Momoh, was discharged for offences bordering on attempted suicide.
After the court announced that her case had been dismissed as recommended by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Momoh stepped out of the dock, knelt down and started giving praises to God.
Immediately she got out of the court, she covered her face with two sets of clothes and hastened towards the back gate of the court.
After flinging the gates open, a resident asked if she was in purdah, which she denied and ran off with her face still covered.
One of her counsel said she wanted to avoid the harassment of journalists and people in the community.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Momoh had accumulated debts of over N18m after a bureau de change operator allegedly fled with money belonging to her Swiss creditor.
Her shop was also reportedly burgled around the time, which led to frustration and depression.
Momoh said she left her house late March and headed for the lagoon, adding that she had removed her shoes and was about to take a dive into the water when she was rescued and handed over to operatives of the Rapid Response Squad.
The police subsequently transferred the matter to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, where she was detained for three days.
The case was later charged to court.
After the first arraignment, Momoh cried out for help, saying she could not explain why she attempted suicide.
On Thursday, when the matter came up for hearing at the magistrates’ court, she was represented by two counsel, F.A. Azeez and Eniola Disu, both of the Office of the Public Defender.
A prosecutor from the state Ministry of Justice, Mrs. A.T. Olaleye, announced that the DPP had issued advice on the matter.
“I am directed to inform this court that legal advice has been issued on the matter,” she said.
The magistrate, Tajudeen Elias, after skimming through the advice in the case file, said the charges had been dismissed.
“By the DPP’s advice, the defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted,” he said.