Justice Sunday Aladetoyinbo of the FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, on Wednesday struck out a case of murder filed against a former police officer, Gabriel Achimi, for lack of diligent prosecution.
Achimi, 37, was charged with the murder of Ishaku Musa, a commercial motorcycle rider, at Gishiri junction, Abuja.
Delivering judgment, Justice Aladetoyinbo, frowned at the inability of the Ministry of Justice to retrieve the case diary from the Police.
”I do not believe that the Ministry of Justice cannot retrieve the case diary from the police.
”This case is struck out and the defendant discharged and if the case file is finally retrieved, the defendant can be re- arraigned,” he held.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judge said that the case had recorded eight adjournments already without the defendant taking his plea.
Aladetoyinbo said that he was forced to grant bail to the defendant as a result of the shoddy prosecution of the case.
Earlier, Mr. Abubakar Musa, the prosecuting counsel, told the court that the prosecution had not been able to collect the case diary of this case from the police as directed by the court.
Musa told the court that several contacts were made to retrieve the document, but the police refused to release the case file up to date.
Responding, the defence lawyer, Mr. Akin Akintan, told the court that the case had suffered many adjournments due to the nonchalant attitude of the prosecution.
”The Registrar of this court on my lord’s instruction had to write to the Ministry of Justice more than two times.
”On Feb. 19, this court made a definite pronouncement by giving the prosecution one more adjournment to put its house in order,” he said.
Akintan, therefore, urged the court to discharge the defendant and allow him to go pending when the prosecution was ready to prosecute him.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police on Feb. 27, 2018 alleged at the arraignment of the defendant said that on May 10, 2017, at 8 p.m., near Gishiri Junction in Abuja, Achimi shot Musa; allegedly causing the latter’s death.
The police in the charge said that the action contravened section 224 of the Penal.