Prosecutor’s Absence Stalls Hearing on Melaye’s Assassination Suit

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For the second time in one week, hearing in the suit over the assassination attempt on the senator representing Kogi west senatorial district, Dino Melaye was stalled because of the absence of the prosecutors.

The presiding Judge, Justice Fola Ajayi, therefore adjourned hearing on the matter to March 22.

The administrator of Ijumu local government area of Kogi state, Alhaji Taofiq Isa and for others are facing trial over their alleged involvement in the attempt to assassinate Melaye in April 2017.

Unknown gunmen had invaded the lawmaker’s residence in Ayetoro-Gbede, Ijumu local government and fired several shots into the compound following which properties were destroyed but no life was lost in the attack.

The Nigeria Police later instituted a case against Isa and others, slamming a five-count charge which includes conspiracy to murder against the defendants.

However a new judge last week assumed hearing of the case following the death of the first judge, Justice Arome Akoju, who was supposed to hear a no case submission brought by counsel to the plaintiffs, Dele Adesina SAN.

But when the case came up for mention on Tuesday, the prosecutor, Lough Simon and his team again failed to appear in court, forcing the presiding judge to further adjourned hearing on the suit.

The judge, however, frowned at the continued absence of the prosecutor and his team, saying that he has limited time to conclude the case as its a criminal case that required thorough attention.

He added that the case had to start afresh because of the sensitive nature and the seriousness attached to it.

He, therefore, urged the prosecuting counsel to appear physically with the case file at the next adjourned date.

The local government boss and other defendants have pleaded not guilty to the case and were expected to adopt their no case submission before the death of the initial judge handling the matter.

Isa had earlier told the court that he didn’t know anything about the attack on the senator as he never sent anybody to attack Melaye.

Credit: Tribune

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