Pissed by how the federal government is prosecuting the alleged terrorism trial of four co-defendants of the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, a Federal High Court in Abuja, had imposed a fine of N200, 000 on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.
The judge, Justice Binta Nyako, in a short ruling ordered that each of the defendants be paid N50,000 by the AGF for the inconveniences they suffered as a result of the absence of the lead counsel to the federal government, Mr. Shuaib Labaran.
According to the ruling, the fine must be paid to the defendants before the next adjourned date of March 17, 2022.
The four defendants are Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudike, Benjamin Maduagwu, and David Nwaurusi.
They had through their lawyers complained bitterly over the hardships suffered to raise funds for their transportation to Abuja.
When the matter came up on Wednesday, there was no legal representation for the federal government.
However, as the Judge was about to adjourn, one Mrs. Adewumi Aluko from the Federal Ministry of Justice, came in and apologized that the federal government’s lead counsel was out of the country.
She announced that two witnesses were in court but did 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 counseled the federal government to be more serious in the trial of the defendants.
The Judge also extended similar counselling to the defense lawyers to stop using frivolous applications to delay the trial which was started in 2015.
Meanwhile, Justice Nyako has fixed March 17 for the resumption of the trial.