Court fines Malami N200,000 for scuttling Kanu co-defendants’ trial

Court fines Malami N200,000 for scuttling Kanu co-defendants’ trial

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN)

Published 3 February 2022

Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja, on Wednesday, imposed a N200, 000 fine on the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), for truncating the trial of four co-defendants of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on treasonable felony charges.

The judge ordered that each of the defendants be paid N50,000 by the AGF for the inconveniences they suffered as a result of the absence in court of the lead counsel for the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran.

Justice Nyako, who was visibly angry with the way the trial was truncated, ordered that the N200,000 must be paid to the defendants before the next adjourned date of March 17.

The four defendants are Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudike, Benjamin Maduagwu and David Nwaurusi.

They had through their lawyers complained bitterly of the hardship they were facing to raise funds for their transportation to Abuja.

During Wednesday’s proceedings, no legal representation was made for the Federal Government by the time the matter was called.

However, as the judge was about to take adjournment, one Adewumi Aluko from the Federal Ministry of Justice came in apologised that the Federal Government’s lead counsel was out of the country.

She announced that two witnesses were in court but she would not want to proceed in the absence of the lead counsel and sought for an adjournment.

Her apology did not go down well with the judge, who advised the Federal Government to be more serious with the trial of the defendants.

The judge also extended similar counselling to the defence lawyers to stop using frivolous applications to delay the trial, which was started in 2015.

Justice Nyako then fixed March 17 for resumption of trial.

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