The FCT High Court Judge, Abba Muhammed, on Monday berated the Nigeria Police for employing delay tactics to keep an armed robbery suspect in prison since 2012.
A police prosecutor, Adama Musa, was absent on Monday in a case filed by the FCT Commissioner of Police against one Sunday Haruna.
Mr Haruna was alleged to have robbed a private residence in Kubwa, Abuja, in 2012 and was said to have carted away property and other valuables at gunpoint.
Counsel to the defendant, Samson Paul, said he was in court in respect of a no-case submission filed by his client.
He said that Musa called to inform him he would not be in court as he has very tight schedule at FCT High courts in Kubwa and Maitama.
The judge, who was not happy with the explanation, said the action of the prosecutor was infringing on the rights of the defendant.
“This is so disheartening, people out there lampoon the judiciary for foot-dragging, this case has been on since 2012, and the defendant has been kept in prison without recourse to his fundamental rights,” Mr Muhammed said.
Counsel to the defendant had informed the court that the prosecutor only brought two witnesses; while the victims have abandoned the case.
According to him, “if the victims are not interested, the police should not cry louder than the bereaved, they should abandon the matter, too.
“The prosecutor was supposed to be in court at all material time to ensure the trial of the defendant but it is so unfortunate considering his schedule and it is not a plus on the administration of justice,” he said.
He said that aside the two witnesses, there had been no other evidence before the court.
According to him, the witnesses were not there at the scene of the crime and nothing was recovered from the defendant.
He noted that the defendant was not arrested with a gun and was not also arrested at the scene of the crime, so it created a lot of doubt as to who was the actual person that committed the crime.
The case was adjourned until November 14.