Alleged forgery: Court adjourns case over ”missing” defendant

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, adjourned a case of alleged forgery and impersonation filed by the Nigeria Police Force against Ibrahim Modu and 23 others over Modu’s absence in court.

The police charged Modu and his co-defendants with 100-counts bordering on forgery and using other people’s names to get recruited into the force.When the matter was called on Wednesday,  counsel to Modu, Mr Adams Ugwuanyi told the court that his client left Adamawa on Saturday for Abuja to attend the trial but has not been seen since then.“My lord, my client left home to attend court and his whereabout is not known since then even by his family and his number is not going through either.“

We even brought his surety to court to further explain this to the court.”The Prosecution Counsel, Mr  Joseph Offor, told the court that he was considering the provision of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA) which states that the case could continue in the absence of a defendant who was granted bail but absconded.“My Lord I believe the case can go on while I make an application for the revocation of his bail.”The trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, however, said a defendant going missing on his way to attend court was a matter of serious concern.“If you say a young man left home to attend court and has not been seen, it calls for concern.“The police should also look into this matter to see what is going on.“I cannot proceed with the trial today because I am not comfortable that he left to come for trial but has not arrived,” the judge said.

The judge told the surety that even though the law required him to show cause why the defendant was not in court, he would give him another opportunity to produce the defendant on the next adjourned date.He equally advised the defendants to take their security seriously adding that he had faith in them to attend court when he admitted them to bail and that they should not abuse it.He adjourned the matter until Sept. 20, Sept. 21 and Sept. 22 for continuation of trial.Ugwuanyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the defendants were incarcerated for 7 months before they were eventually admitted to bail. (NAN)

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