The trial of some suspects alleged to have been planning to create anarchy in the Southern part of Taraba state was yesterday stalled in the Magistrate court sitting in Jalingo, the state capital.
The trial which was rescheduled for hearing before Magistrate Bethuel Philip Kwakwa, could not proceed as the chief registrar, Bartholomew Kaigama, was said to have ordered the transmission of the case file back to his office.
He claimed that ” my hands are tight” the Chief registrar, according to the trial judge, has received complaints on this case hence his decision to transfer the case back to his office.
The Magistrate who could not fathom where the said complaints emanated from adjourned the matter sine-die promising to communicate both parties, as soon as the Chief registrar is done attending to the complaints.
Pleading with the parties to exercise constraints, he is optimistic that the Chief registrar would do justice to the complaints brought before him in connection to the case.
Filing questions from media practitioners, the defendant’s counsel, Dr Ibrahim Effiong, said “what the Magistrate did, was just to inform us of the directive he received from the Chief registrar that the file be transmitted to his office.”
Effiong, who was not pleased with the development, said ” we don’t know where the complaints come from and we don’t even know who generated the complaints.”
Stressing that ” I will not want to conclude that there is a foul play” he beckoned at the leadership of the court to facilitate the hearing on the case.
Effiong, who was of the view that the allegations levelled against his clients are bailable offences, said “all we know is that you cannot just keep these people behind the bar.”
Counsel to the complainants S.A Wakili, who also have no idea of those behind the said complaints, said ” on the prosecution side, we are ready to proceed only for the trial judge to inform us that he was directed to transmit the case back to the Chief registrar for consideration of the complaint.”
Wakili, who also did not suspect any foul play, said ” I don’t attach the cases I handled with politics” adding that “I am not aware if there is any political interest”
The trial judge directed that all the suspects be remanded in Gassol local government correctional center pending when the chief registrar deemed it fit to reassign the case.
All the suspects, as noticed by our correspondent, are supporters of the All Progressive Congress (APC). And it could be recalled that the leadership of the party recently cried out that the state government had been working round the clock to suppress opposition parties especially those perceived as hindrances to the governor’s senatorial ambition.
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