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Tuesday 5 December 2017

Biafra: Prosecutor’s absence, not enough reason to adjourn Kanu’s trial— Barrister Ejiofor

•As Madubugwu’s health condition worsens, prays court for separate date on bail application
•Courts, not a dumping ground for cases— 5th defendant’s lawyer

By Chukwuemeka Chimerue, Chief Editor, and Eluwa Chidiebere
|| For Biafra Writers

December 5, 2017

ABUJA— Trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, and co-defendants, on Tuesday, suffered a setback following the absence of Federal government’s Prosecution counsel, Mr. Shuaibu Mogaji Labaran.

Mr. Labaran had filed a motion for an adjournment, informing the court of his trip to attend a seminar outside the country and for a resumption pending when he returns back to the country.

Consequently, the court which obliged his request, adjourned hearing on the matter till 20th February, 2018.

However, lawyer to the third defendant, Benjamin Madubugwu, had filed an affidavit of urgency requesting the court to grant a separate date for the hearing of his bail application which is based on health grounds.

Reacting to the development, Counsel to the IPOB leader, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, Esq, expressed anger and dissatisfaction on the conduct of the Prosecution, even as he noted that the court “over-obliged the Prosection,” saying his absence is not enough reason to adjourn the matter considering its public interest and series of other applications pending before it.

According to him, “We’re here this morning for the continued hearing of our case, only to be informed Labaran(Prosecution Counsel), filed a communication requesting the court for an adjournment to the effect that he is traveling for a seminar outside the country and the court obliged him.


“I don’t think that should be enough reason for court to adjourn the matter, taking into account the seriousness and interest of this matter. It is not enough reason because Labaran himself has been coming to the hearing of this matter with about 5 to 6 lawyers, some are Directors, Deputy directors, etc. One of them could have appeared on his behalf particularly when an application for the bail of the third defendant, Benjamin Madubugwu, is ripe for hearing this morning.

“Madubugwu has been critically ill as at present. A medical report issued by the Doctor confirmed that which required urgency and the court should look into that as a matter of urgency because it is only the living that can stand for trial. And as it is now, the Prosecution has not filed any counter-affidavit opposing his bail application but the court actually over-indulged them not minding the interest attached to this case.”

Meanwhile, lawyer to the fifth defendant, Bright Chimezie, Barrister Chukwudi Igwe, has accused the Department of State Services, DSS, of neglecf, violation and contempt of the court ruling by refusing to release his client despite the order by a Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, directing them to release Chimezie unconditionally and pay him a sum of N500 million as compensatory damages.

Read Also: Biafra: Buratai, FG, Must Produce Kanu In Court, Justice Must Be Allowed To Take Its Toll

He added that instead of obeying the subsisting court order for the release of his client the DSS smuggled and joined him in the ongoing trial of the IPOB leader and four others as the fifth defendant even when they have failed to draw the attention of the court to the amended charges.

“His matter came up last week before the Federal High Court, Uyo which had earlier directed the DSS to release him unconditionally and also ordered them to pay him a sum of N500 million as compensation on account of illegal detention and gross violation of his fundamental human rights.

“But instead of obeying that order, what they did was to amend the already existing charges at the Abuja High Court and smuggled his(Chimezie) name as the fifth defendant. Ad it stands today, Bright Chimezie has not been produced before this court and last time his matter came up, we informed the court that Chimezie had been joined as a party in this suit and the court said 'no' that his matter is not before him and as such, could not make any pronouncement to that effect until it is brought before it,” he said.

He affirmed that following the brazen neglect and flouting of court orders by the DSS, he went back to the Uyo High Court to initiate a court contempt against the DSS which its ruling will be delivered on Friday.

Read Also: Biafra: Be Wary Of DSS’ Fake Radio Station – IPOB To Newspaper Editors

The lawyer also noted that it would be very difficult for him to move a motion for his client’s bail without the amended charge being brought before the notice of the court but that he intends to pray the court dismiss and/or strike out the charges against his client on the next adjourned date if the Federal government fail to bring the amended charges before the court “as it is not a dumping ground where one files a case and then drop and leave it just that way.”

Publisher: Chijindu Benjamin Ukah
Contact us: [email protected]

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