A Chief magistrate court sitting in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, has today remanded three members of the reformed People’s Democratic Party (r-PDP) in police custody over alleged terrorism, forgery and public disturbance.
Delivering the ruling, Chief Magistrate Dimas Elshama said, he delivered the ruling based on the provision of section 294 and the application to remand the three defendants tendered by the prosecution.
The judge then ruled that the three defendants should be remanded under the police custody as they await the advice of the Director Public Prosecution (DPP).
He based his judgement on exparte motion saying that the effort of the defence counsel to the defendants to counter the application for plea is an exercise in futility.
Elishama directed the prosecution to ensure that the advice of the DPP is obtained on or before April 20, 2020.
The three defendants, Barr. Hussaini Kazir, r-PDP chairman of Yelli ward, Phillips Buji and Abdullsalam Adamu were brought before the court by the Adamawa State commissioner of police Audu Madaki over alleged terrorism, forgery and public disturbance.
Commenting on the judgement in a chat with newsmen after the ruling, the lead counsel to the defendants, Barr Jerry Owe said the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case based on the nature of the charges brought before it which are criminal in nature.
He noted that the charges brought by the prosecution under experte motion grants the defendants no right to be heard adding that after allowing them to take plea, the defendants were given the rights to audience and should have been heard.
Owe maintained that out of the three conditions for filing such charges, only one was fulfilled while the other two were breached noting that on such grounds the court has lost grounds to continue with the process.
” Out of the three conditions, only First Information Report was availed to the court while form 8 was not filled and verifying affidavit was not deposed, ” he said.
Also reacting to the ruling, the r-PDP leader in the state Dr. Umar Ardo accused the chief magistrate of allowing himself to be used as a pawn in the political chess game of Adamawa State.
He noted that the judge’s action was in total contravention with the directive of Chief Justice of the federation which suspended all court sittings until April 20, 2020 a move aimed at taming the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Ardo pledged to file a petition before the NJC to challenge what he called the unprofessional and condenscending conduct of the judge.
He also vowed to petition the IG over the conduct of the state police commissioner, Audu Madaki for allowing himself to be used in the political chess game of the state