Anti-Tinubu Air Passenger: FCT Court Frowns At Incessant Trial Delays


A Magistrate Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Zuba on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, frowned at the incessant adjournments and delays in the trial of an anti-Tinubu air passenger, Barrister Obiajulu Hansel Uja, for criminal offense.

The Magistrate specifically said that that frivolous adjournment in criminal matters must be prohibited.

Uja, an ‘Obidient supporter’ was arrested in April 2023 when he caused an uproar during an Abuja-Lagos bound Ibom Air flight a he protested and demanded that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, then a President-elect, must not be sworn-in as Nigeria’s President on May 29.

Uja, a lawyer by training, had since been put on trial before Magistrate Abdulazeez Ismail Muhammad of the Zuba Magistrate Court and his being charged with public nuisance, resistance to lawful arrest, threatening violence and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace contrary to sections 396, 267, 188,172 and 144 of the Penal Code Law.

Uja pleaded not guilty to all the charges but was denied bail by the court for various reasons.

However, at the proceeding slated for definite cross examination of a prosecution’s witness, Magistrate Muhammad was shocked when he realised that neither the Counsel to the Federal Government, Umo Inna, nor the defence lawyer, P. U Ogbadu, was present in court just as there was no explanation offered for their absence.

The Magistrate during his ruling, said that the ability to remain relevant as an institution requires the need to recognise challenges and begin to take difficult decisions.

In the words of the Magistrate; “In the instance of this case, I will lean on the side of substantial justice to grant an adjournment at the instance of the prosecution. Against this background, this matter is adjourned to the 4th day of March, 2024 for definite cross examination”.

Uja, whose trial for criminal offense has suffered a series of adjournments was initially held at the Kuje Correctional Centre and was at a point made to undergo mental check-up which came out positive as a Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Hospital Abuja, Dr. Olusegun Shoyombo, confirmed in his medical report of the mental insanity of the defendant.

However, a judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Justice Edward Okpe, put the mental issue of the defendant to rest when he admitted him to bail and held that Uja was fit for trial.

Consequent upon the High Court decision, the matter started with the prosecution calling its witness before Magistrate Mohammed Abdulazeez. While the prosecution has since finished leading his witness, the defendant is expected to commence the cross examination of the prosecution witnesses.

Meanwhile, the cross examination has been shifted to March 4, 2024 by the trial Magistrate with a warning that the Court would not tolerate any further delay in the trial.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply