Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has debunked media reports that names of 10 soldiers and one Police officer named as accomplices in the alleged kidnapping charges involving Mr Bala Hamisu otherwise known as Wadume were dropped from the case.
It would be recalled that the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice took over the prosecution of the case from the Nigerian Police.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Jibril Gwandu, what the Office did is to severe the charges in view of the unavailability of the Soldiers who in their own case need to be released by the military authorities in view of the fact that they were undergoing military processes before their release.
’’It is in the interest of justice to accord speedy trial to the accused persons that are readily available to stand trial as against delaying at the expense of other co-accused persons who in the peculiarity of this case are not available for immediate arraignment’’ the statement read.
Mr Malami noted that it is a common practice that absence of a co-accused will not hinder the progress of a case and those available are entitled to a fair trial and have their case determined within a reasonable time as a matter of constitutional rights.
’’Looking at the fact that the available accused persons are not to be held responsible for the unavailability of the co-accused persons’’ he said.
The Minister gave assurances that his Office has taken steps to ensure the availability of the co-accused and will have them arraigned immediately they are released by the military authorities.
Source: Voice of Nigeria