A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Binta Nyako, has on Wednesday, imposed a N200,000 fine on the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), for cutting short the trial of four co-defendants of the leader of 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 absence of the lead counsel to the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran.
Justice Nyako who apparently was visibly angry with the way the trial was truncated ordered that the N200, 000 must be paid to the defendants before the 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 about the hardships they suffered to raise funds for their transportation to Abuja.
At Wednesday proceedings, no legal representation came for the federal government at 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 and apologised that the Federal Government’s lead counsel was out of the country.
She announced that two witnesses were in court but will not want to proceed in the absence of the lead counsel and sought an adjournment.
Her apology did not go down well with the Judge who counseled the federal government to be more serious in 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 since 2015
Meanwhile, Justice Nyako has fixed March 17 for resumption of the trial.
Credit: The PUNCH