Nigeria: Omo-Irabor: Court lacks jurisdiction, says defence counsel

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CourtA NEW twist was, weekend, introduced to the kidnap case in Delta State involving a Warri-based lawyer, Mr. Casely Omo-Irabor, when his counsel told Magistrate E. A. Odjugo that his court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

Omo-Irabor’s counsel, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, had filed an appeal, challenging the ruling of the Magistrate court, declining to transfer the matter to another court, alleging bias and lack of confidence in the court.

At the resumed hearing in the case, Ikimi prayed the court to stay proceedings in the matter pending the hearing and determination of his appeal, arguing that the appeal raised fundamental and arguable constitutional matters.

He said since the Attorney-General of the state had withdrawn from the case to allow the police continue the prosecution, there was no charge before the magistrate court, arguing that they did not intend to delay the prosecution of the matter in any way but were only trying to protect the res, the subject matter and defend the rights of his client to fair hearing.

Opposing the application for stay of proceedings, prosecution, Mr Godson, reminded the court that stay of proceedings was not granted as a matter of asking, pointing out that “there must be a pending, valid and competent appeal on merit before the court.”

He argued that the defense had not provided enough material facts to support the request for a stay of proceeding and urged the court to discountenance the motion.

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