Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, has sentenced the Executive Secretary of the Teaching Service Board (TSB), James Pine, to five years imprisonment with an option of N10,000 fine.
Pine was charged for assault and criminal use of force in a direct criminal summons pursuant to Section 143 (D) (E) of the Criminal Procedure Code and punishable under Section 268 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue State 2004.
According to prosecution lawyers, led by Demeer Adi, on March 13, at the TSB headquarters in Makurdi, Pine assaulted James Asema, who at the time of the incident was head of maintenance at TSB, without provocation. He called three witnesses, including the complainant, to make his case.
Pine, however, denied the charges. During cross examination, he said it was wrong for a Chief Executive Officer to slap a subordinate.
According to his counsel, Ambrose Ikpa, the case of the complainant was a desperate attempt to prosecute Pine, having earlier prayed for a “no case submission,” which was discountenanced by the court.
Ugo maintained that the avalanche of evidence points to the same direction and conclusion establishing that the offense was committed.
Ikpa refused to comment on the judgment but said they have a right to appeal.
Adi, hwoever, thanked the court “for taking the bold step in seeing that justice is served in the matter.”