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Police Face Hurdles as Court Insists Lebanese National Must Appear in Arson Case

Alibert Furniture

By Our Correspondent

A case of alleged arson against Lebanese National, Mr Maged Ali, currently ongoing in the Federal High Court Kano, has taken another dimension as the Police Prosecutor filed an application seeking to terminate the charges against the defendants.

Justice Watch News, recalls that on December 6, 2023, the presiding judge, Justice Nasir Muhammad Yunus, ordered the arrest of Mr. Maged Ali for his failure, along with his co-accomplice, Mustapha Tiamiyu, to attend court and hear the arson allegations against them.

Read Also: Arson: FHC orders arrest of Lebanese National over failure to attend Court

Justice Watch News, also gathered that on 22nd November, 2023 during the court session, the defense counsel, Barrister Yahaya Isa Abdurrashid, informed the court that the defendant was absent due to a terminal illness and resulting panic, preventing him from attending his arraignment.

After several adjournments at the defendants’ request, the Police Prosecutor, Barrister Abdussalam Saleh Danmaidaki, urged the court on December 6, 2023, to compel the appearance of the defendants, emphasizing the criminal nature of their offense, citing Section 113 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.

Danmaidaki further argued that the Defense counsel, who stood as surety for the defendants, had stated that he would ensure their attendance at the trial.

Read Also: Alleged Arson: Stop Being Sureties to Criminal Clients, Judge Cautions Lawyers

During the arraignment on Thursday, the prosecution counsel, Barrister Sunday Ekwe, requested the termination of the three-count charge against the defendants.

Ekwe stated, “My lord, it is on record that the three-count charges were filed against the defendants. However, they have yet to appear to hear the allegations against them. While this matter is pending before the court, we received an order from the Inspector General of Police through the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operation, directing us to terminate the charge.”

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He further explained that the matter would be transferred to the force headquarters for further investigation in the interest of justice.

Mr. Sunday Ekwe cited Section 108 (1, 2b) of the ACJA 2015 and Section 174 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

On behalf of the complainant, Barrister Okechukwu Eze, the watching brief counsel, pointed out that the court had previously ordered the police to arrest and bring the defendants for arraignment.

Eze argued, “We gathered that Maged Ali was arrested and about to be brought to Kano when the IGP gave an order for his release,” as he informed the court.

Read Also: Troops Disperse Rampaging IPOB/ESN Hoodlums Carrying Out Arson In Awo-Mmamma

He further alleged that the police’s application is an attempt to subvert the course of justice and urged the court to dismiss it, stating that only the Attorney General of the Federation has the constitutional authority to seek the termination of any criminal case at any stage of the proceedings.

According to the lawyer, the AGF can either appear or delegate his power to any of his representatives to make the application.

He maintained that the police are not the Attorney General and urged the court to dismiss their application.

In his ruling, Justice Nasir overruled the police’s application to terminate the case, upholding that neither Sunday Ekwe nor the IGP has the right to seek such an application.

According to the presiding judge, “It is judicial negligence to grant an application of this nature. The application will not be granted until the proper procedure is followed.” He dismissed the application.

He consequently adjourned the case to February 12, 2024, for arraignment.

Read Also: Kano Court Sets Sentencing Date for Convicted Robbery Offender

Justice Watch News, had earlier reported that on December 20, 2023, the defendants were alleged to have conspired willfully and maliciously set fire to a building at 5c Murtala Muhammed Way, Kano, which Mr. Maged Ali occupied as a tenant and used as a showroom.

In the process, Mr. Maged Ali Taan made a fraudulent insurance claim on the said building.


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