The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has explained why his office were not able to arraign Nigerian Army Officers accused of enabling the escape of the Taraba kidnap Kingpin Waduma in a fracas that killed officers of the Nigerian Police Special Forces.
Malami disclosed this on Friday in Abuja through a statement by Dr. Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, saying no names were dropped in the case of Taraba State alleged kidnap kingpin, Bala Hamisu, also known as Wadume.
According to the Attorney-General, what his office did was to sever the charges in view of the unavailability of the soldiers who in their own case needed to be released by the military authorities, as they are undergoing military processes before their release.
“The interest of justice requires and legitimately allowed for segmentation of the case in the interest of speedy trail,” the AGF said.
He said it was in the interest of justice to accord speedy trial to the accused persons that were readily available to stand trial as against delaying at the expense of other co-accused persons, who in the peculiarity of the case are not available for immediate arraignment.
The statement added: “It is a common practice that absence of a co-accused will not constitute impediment to the progress of a case.
“Those available are entitled to fair trial and have their cases determined within a reasonable time as a matter of Constitutional rights.
“Moreso, looking at the fact that the available accused persons are not to be held responsible for the unavailability of the co-accused persons.”
Malami said his office had taken steps to procure the availability of the co-accused, allegedly led by Captain Balarabe tijani, and shall have them arraigned immediately upon procuring their availability by the military authorities.