Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court (Abuja) on Wednesday imposed a fine of N200, 000 on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami over the failure of the lead counsel to show up for the trial of four co-defendants of Nnamdi Kanu
The judge ordered that each of the defendants be paid the sum of N50,000 by the AGF for the inconveniences they suffered due to the absence of the lead counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Shuaib Magaji Labaran.
Justice Nyako ordered that the N200, 000 must be paid to the defendants before the adjourned date of March 17. The four defendants are Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudike, Benjamin Maduagwu, and David Nwaurusi.
They had through their lawyers complained about the hardships they suffered to raise funds for their transportation to Abuja. When the matter was called at the day’s proceeding, no legal representation came for the Federal Government.
However, as the judge was about to take adjournment, one Mrs Adewumi Aluko from the Federal Ministry of Justice came in apologized that the Federal Government’s lead counsel was out of the country.
She said that two witnesses were in court but will not want to proceed in the absence of the lead counsel and sought 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.