A NIGERIAN pastor and his Namibian wife who were facing fraud charges after they were accused of swindling an elderly couple out of their house are free for now after the Prosecutor in the case lied to the court that the matter was awaiting a decision from the Office the Prosecutor-General (PG) when the docket was in fact never submitted.
Isaac Onwordi and his wife Suama Onwordi were informed by Windhoek Magistrate Asino Justine that the matter was struck from the court roll as a result.
Isaac Onwordi, who runs the Life Changing Christian Church, was flung into the spotlight when members of his church, Gervasius Arnat and Franziska Arnat, accused him and his wife of defrauding them of their N$1.5 million house in Dorado Park last year. He was subsequently arrested for fraud.
The allegations are that the house was falsely transferred into Isaac’s name while Gervasius and his wife were allegedly leasing the house to the church.
On Friday, the matter was scheduled to be heard for the decision of Office of the PG, however, Prosecutor Tubeho Mundia said he had not summarised the docket and therefore it had not been sent to the PG’s office.
He had previously indicated to the court that the docket was summarised and ready for submission to the PG’s office.
“As court officials, we are expected to be honest, however, it is this conduct of the state that is making not only the court to lose trust in what the state submits before our courts but society at large will lose confidence in our criminal justice system. If, for whatever reason the state did not summarise the docket, they were supposed to be frank with the court and request a further postponement rather than lying to the court. Now, to be informed five months later that the docket is not summarised and not yet sent is clearly not in the best interest of the administration of justice and highly prejudicial to the accused persons. The state should not unnecessarily keep cases dragging due to negligence on their part,” Magistrate Asino stressed.
In striking the matter from the roll, she maintained that the state has not shown good cause on why another postponement should be made, calling on the PG’s office to start considering the issues of Decisions seriously.
The clearly frustrated Presiding officer added that a lot of serious cases have in the past been struck off the court roll due to the same conduct.
The accused are free, pending the decision from the Prosecutor General. Their bail money in the amount of N$10 000 each has been refunded.