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Tukur Mamu: Court warns FG against lack of diligent prosecution as government lawyer disappears

Tukur Mamu: Court warns FG against lack of diligent prosecution as government lawyer disappears...Continue The Full Reading.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday, warned the Federal Government against lack of diligent prosecution in the charge filed against former terrorist negotiator, Tukur Mamu.

Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the warning following the disappearance of FG’s lawyer, David Kaswe, in court prior to the resumed hearing in the case.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mamu was arraigned on March 21, 2023 on 10 counts of terrorism financing, among others, but pleaded not guilty to the counts.

Justice Ekwo, on April 27, 2023, declined to admit him to bail on the grounds of ill-health, after the Department of State Service opposed the bail application.

However, the judge, on December 19, 2023, granted Mamu’s plea to have access to his own personal physician due to his alleged deteriorating health condition.

Justice Ekwo, in the ruling, ordered that Mamu’s medical doctor should be allowed to treat him subject to the supervision of the DSS’ team of physicians.

When the case was called on Monday, Kaswe, who entered his name on the cause list for the prosecution, was not in court.

Mamu’s counsel, Abdul Mohammed, SAN, urged the court to stand down the matter to await Kaswe’s return.

When the case was called again after the judge had delivered a judgment, the prosecution lawyer was still not in court

Mohammed then said he would have applied that the charge be struck out because Mamu, since arraignment, had not been admitted to bail and that the court directed an accelerated trial of the case.

The senior lawyer added that despite being in court earlier in the morning, Kaswe was not in court even at 10am.

The lawyer then notified the court of their motion on notice which he said the prosecution had responded to.

Justice Ekwo granted his prayer to move the application.

Mohammed said the motion, dated and filed February 23, sought an order transferring Mamu to Kuje Correction Centre for proper medical attention.

He said the motion had a 24-paragraph affidavit and Exhibits A to G.

He said the court, recognising the fact that the defendant must be alive to face trial, ordered that he should be granted access to medical officers of his.

Mohammed alleged that the order had not been complied with.

“This application is brought so that we will take the defendant to the prisons because they always obey court orders there, so that if we go there, he will have access to his medical officer.

“It is completely within the discretion of the court and we do not want to bring an application for contempt as that will take time.

“Therefore, we want the court to vary the order and the defendant will stay in the Kuje Correctional Facility. That is what we are asking for,” he said.

The judge, who deemed the counter affidavit of the prosecution filed on February 27 as being adopted in compliance with the rules of the court, said he was aware that the prosecution was informed of the hearing date by the court registrar.

Besides, he said he was also aware that Kaswe, who was to appear for the prosecution, was in court in the morning.

Justice Ekwo, however, expressed surprise over “the miraculous disappearance” of the Federal Government’s lawyer in court.

“I am also aware that the prosecution was in court this morning, but as to the miracle of disappearance of the prosecution as at the time this matter comes up for hearing is beyond my understanding,” he said.

According to him, “the prosecution understands that this is a court that stands on the side of justice and if you bring a person to stand trial, you should be bold enough to face the person during trial.

“This antic of the prosecution is only being tolerated in today’s proceedings.

“If the prosecution demonstrates that they are not ready to prosecute this matter either diligently or expeditiously, the court will make the right decision at that point,” the judge warned.

Justice Ekwo, subsequently, adjourned the matter until May 20 for ruling on Mamu’s application to be transferred to Kuje Correctional Centre.

NAN reports that Mamu, who is standing trial over his alleged relationship with terrorists that were involved in the March 28, 2022 attack on an Abuja-Kaduna-bound train, was arrested on September 6, 2022, by Interpol in Cairo, Egypt, on behalf of the Nigerian government.…Continue Full Reading.>’.

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