Bombing Of UN Building: Suspects' Trial Adjourned Till March 12


BEVERLY HILLS, February 17, (THEWILL) -  Hearing in the trial of the four suspected Boko Haram members accused of the 2011 bombing the United Nations House in Abuja was on Monday adjourned till March 12.

The adjournment followed the  stalling of the trial fixed for Monday due to the  absence of the prosecutor,  Mrs O.

Ohakwe, who was expected to argue her two applications.

One of the applications sought the court's leave for the prosecution to reopen her case, while the other sought  the court's permission for the prosecution to amend the four-count charge on which the four accused are being tried.

When the case was called on Monday,  Ohakwe was absent as defence lawyer, Obi Duruzo, argued that Ohakwe's absence was an indication that the prosecution was not interested in prosecuting the case.

Duruzo, who noted that  Ohakwe did not bother to inform the court about her absence, said he had tried unsuccessfully to reach the prosecutor on the telephone.

At a point, the judge directed one of the court's registrars to call Ohakwe's telephone number but the registrar was also unable to reach the prosecutor, a development that prompted the judge to adjourn further hearing to March 12.

She also ordered the issuance of hearing notice on  Ohakwe.

The four suspects, Salisu Mohammed, Inusa Mukailu, Dan'azumi Haruna and Abdulsalami Adamu, were  arrested in Kano shortly after the August 20, 2011 bombing.

They were later arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on terrorism.

But on November 22, 2013  , the trial judge, Justice Gladys Olotu, closed the prosecution's case, saying the prosecutor failed to handle the case diligently.

Justice Olotu  had expressed dismay that the prosecution, who applied for and got the court's permission for accelerated trial, was now reluctant to produce witnesses months after the first witness testified.

Justice Olotu therefore ordered the suspects to open their defence case, consequent upon which they filed an application for a no-case submission.

Parties were to adopt their written addresses in respect of the defence's no-case submission on January 22 this year, when Ohakwe informed the court about her two new applications.

The defence lawyer though objected to the new applications by the prosecution, describing them as a ploy to further delay the case, she still  chose  to hear them.

According to the judge, the court must hear any application, once it was filed, whether it made sense or not.

Justice Olotu therefore ordered the prosecution to include all the necessary documents in the new applications before the next date and adjourned to March  12  for hearing.