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Absence of prosecution stalls trial of dismissed soldier charged with damage to property, trespass

The absence of a counsel from the Attorney-General’s office on Tuesday stalled a  case of  criminal damage to property and trespass, filed against a dismissed soldier, Adam Ally, in an FCT High Court Gudu.

The attorney-general’s office, charged Ally, with four counts of criminal intimidation, criminal trespass and mischief.

The defendant’s counsel, Mr. Chijoke Okeke, told the court that the prosecution led by Ndidi Ukoha from the office of the attorney-general was not in court.

Okeke informed the court that the prosecution has failed to appear five consecutive times.

He said that the case was slated for cross-examination of the second prosecution witness.

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Okeke told the court that since June 2018, there had been four adjournments at the instance of the prosecution.

He went further to quote relevant sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA, 2015), to support his arguments.

Justice Abba-Bello Mohammed ordered the defence to put the prosecution on notice on “today’s proceedings’’, and he answered that he didn’t know.

The judge adjourned the case until May 14 for hearing notice to be served on the prosecution.

The prosecution had filed the case in court on March 17, 2017.

The attorney-general alleged that Ally an adult, in company of two personnel of the Nigerian army, now at large,  on January 29, 2017, trespassed into three plots of land in Lugbe and pulled down the structures, claiming ownership of the plots.

The land belonged to Onwuchekwu Hillary, Ogwechi Chindi and Moemeka Kingsley.

The prosecutor said that the offence is punishable under sections 348 and 397 of the Penal Code. (NAN)