Ojaomo, through his lawyer, Mr E. S. Marcus, said he had lost confidence in the judge, Abdullahi Garuba Ogbede. Marcus orally applied for the re-assignment of the case shortly after informing the judge that his client was told, while trying to apply for the records of the previous proceedings in the case, that the case file was missing. But the judge denied during the Wednesday’s roceedings that the file was missing. The criminal complaint initiated by Ojaomo against Saraki is in respect of the bloody bank robbery in which many died in Offa, Kwara State, earlier this year. The police had said its investigations linked Saraki to the kingpins of the robbery of some banks with many, including policemen and pregnant women, killed in the criminal operation. The criminal complaint marked, CR/196/2018, said to have been initiated in line with Section 89(5) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, sough to compel Saraki to honour police invitation, which he had allegedly shunned. The court had issued a summons, which the counsel for the police had earlier assured would be served on Saraki. At the resumed hearing in the case on Wednesday, Ojaomo’s lawyer noted that Saraki was absent but sent legal representatives to court to apply for the records of proceedings. Marcus also said his client informed him that the case file was missing and had as a result lost confidence in the judge. But the judge raised the case file, saying, “The case file is not missing; this is it (raising it). Don’t listen to anything, focus on your case.” But Marcus insisted that his client had lost confidence in the judge and insisted that the judge should recuse himself from the case. “We rely on sections 6 and 36 of the Constitution and the inherent jurisdiction of this court in making this application. Justice is rooted in confidence,” he said. The judge, after listening to the lawyer, adjourned till October 16 for ruling. Meanwhile, six months after the Offa bank robberies, the police have failed to arraign the 27 suspects that were arrested in connection with the incident in which 33 persons including nine policemen were shot dead. The police had paraded about 15 suspects in Abuja in connection with the April 5, 2018 robbery attacks with a promise to arraign them in court, but this had yet to be done. The long incarceration prompted one of the suspects, and Personal Assistant to the Kwara State Governor, Lekan Alabi, to challenge his continued detention at a Kwara State High Court in July. The court, which was presided over by Justice Adebayo Yusuf, had on July 27, 2018, summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to appear before it in August to explain the reason behind the continued detention of Alabi. Alabi’s counsel, Mr. Adelodun Ibrahim (SAN), who led four other lawyers informed the court that the non-arraignment of Alabi was in contravention of the provisions of Order 4, Rules 3 and 4 of the Fundamental Rights enforcement procedure rules (2009) as well as sections 34, 35, 36, 37, 41 and 46 of the constitution. Commenting on the delayed prosecution of the robbery suspects, a human rights lawyer, Mrs Ifeoma Iheanacho, said it was wrong for the police to detain suspects for over 24 hours without arraignment. She noted that the police should have carried out a proper investigation before carrying out arrests, noting that this would help the administration of criminal justice in the country. Iheanacho, who is the Publicity Secretary, International Federation of Women Lawyers said, “We have many awaiting-trial inmates in prisons and many of them have been held in prisons indefinitely. “One of the purposes of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, was to ensure that such things do not happen. Where we have suspects being detained for over six months, it means something is wrong.” The police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday as calls to his phone went unanswered. He had yet to respond to an SMS on the non-arraignment of the Offa robbery suspects. Meanwhile, the Police Service Commission has pledged to work with the Nigerian Office of Amnesty International to drastically reduce cases of human right abuses in the country. The Chairman of the Commission, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, told a delegation from AI that his agency had already started work on human right abuses by police officers, but requested that the international human rights agency should carry the PSC along in its findings before its reports were released. The leader of the delegation and Director, Amnesty International, Nigeria Office, Osai Ojigho told the PSC Chairman that they were in his office to engage and share their findings regarding abuses and violations of human rights by police operatives.]]>

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