The Federal Government has been ordered to pay N200,000 to four individuals previously charged with the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudike, Benjamin Maduagwu, and David Nwaurusi are the four men who are being tried separately on treasonable felony charges.
In a ruling issued on Wednesday, Justice Binta Nyako ordered the prosecution to pay each of the defendants N50,000 for stalling the case.
The judge’s decision was based on the defense’s complaint that the prosecution’s lawyer was not present in court and that the defendants were subjected to undue hardship in raising funds to travel to court from their base outside Abuja.
The prosecution did not have a lawyer present when the case was mentioned.
Mrs Adewumi Aluko, a lawyer, later walked in midway through the proceedings.
Mrs. Aluko introduced herself as a representative of the Federal Ministry of Justice and apologized for the absence of the lead prosecuting lawyer, Labaran Magaji.
She stated that the prosecution has two witnesses in court but would prefer not to proceed without Magaji.
She hoped for a postponement.
Justice Nyako frowned at the prosecution’s conduct and advised it to be more diligent in handling the case, despite Mrs. Aluko’s apology for the prosecution’s inability to proceed.
Justice Nyako also advised the defense to stop filing frivolous applications to delay the case, which began in 2015.
The judge then postponed the hearing until March 17, 2022.