May 22, 2012, 3:26 PM
Justice Enwa Ikpala of the Special Criminal Court on Wednesday dismissed the no-case-to-answer submission filed by the defence in the abduction case involving six Nigerian nationals and their Gambian accomplice.
The accused persons - Joseph Okeke, Nonso Mbosah, Anuwa Ibiam, Arinze Izuchukwu, Pius Patrick, all Nigerians, and Awa Touray, a Gambian were alleged to have abducted one Justin Leibig, an Australian national, sometime in 2009 at Kololi to subject him to grievous harm. The accused have vehemently denied the charge.
Delivering his ruling, Justice Ikpala stated that the accused persons were arraigned on 12 February 2009, at the Bundung Magistrates' Court and they denied the charge, adding that the case was later transferred to the Special Criminal Court.
The prosecution had called eleven witnesses in support of their case and had tendered several exhibits in court, Justice Ikpala adduced, adding that following the closure of the prosecution case, the defence filed a no-case-to-answer submission on 12 March 2011.
He therefore ruled that the defence did not know how many exhibits were tendered in court and did not even know how many witnesses had testified.
He consequently dismissed the application and called on the accused persons to enter into their defence.
The case was then adjourned until 20 April 2011 for hearing from the defence.