They were also accused of kidnapping Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof Hope Eghagha, Attanasius Ugbme and his friend, Emmanuel Maka Omorogbe, and killing five policemen and two prison officials.

The matter which was scheduled for the continuation of trial on Tuesday before Justice Binta Nyako was stalled due to the absence of one of the suspects, Momoh Haruna, who was said to be missing after the attack on Kuje Correctional Centre by terrorists on July 5 where over hundreds of inmates were released.

 

The four suspects, Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, Frank Azuekor, Michael Omonigho and Momoh Haruna have been refused bail filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Bala I. Dakum.

 

Kelvin and Frank had been held at the facility of the Department of State Service (DSS) in Aso Drive, Abuja while Micheal and Momoh were being held at Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja.

 

Their lawyer, Bala, who spoke to SaharaReporters noted that by the provisions of Section 532 of ( 4 ) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 which state that where the defendant fails to attend court without reasonable explanation, the court shall continue with the trial in his absence and convict unless the court sees reasons otherwise, provided that proceedings in the absence of the defendant shall take place after two adjournments or as the court may deem fit.

 

Though the trial and conviction can proceed in the absence of a defendant who was issued a notice but absconded without reasonable explanation, the court cannot pronounce a sentence in the absence of a Defendant.

 

He added that they would urge the court to exercise its discretion as stipulated in the ACJA to proceed on the next adjourned date, 24th November 2022; if the said Momoh is not in court.

 

On the refusal by the court to admit the suspects to bail, the defence counsel said he has filed another bail application which is pending before the court.

 

The prosecution was expected to call its last witness, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) who is the alleged victim of kidnap today (Tuesday) and close their case after the evidence.

 

The Defence counsel said he had appealed for a short date considering the age of the matter but it was gathered that the Prosecution said the witness Mike Ozekhome had notified the court that he would not be available until November 24, 2022.

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