Justice Emeka Nwite of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Wednesday threatened to strike out the case of
the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore if the prosecution fails to put its house in order.
The matter was slated for re-arraignment of the defendants but when the matter was called, only Mr Sowore was present in court.
The prosecuting counsel, Mariam Okorie, told the court that on the last adjourned date, the court had ordered that the hearing notice be served on the second defendant, Olawale Bakare.
Ms Okorie, however, said she was not aware if Mr Bakare had been served with the notice.
The registrar of the court, however, confirmed that Mr Bakare had not been served.
Mr Sowore’s counsel, Marshall Abubakar, told the court that he believed the prosecution was only trying to frustrate his client by its inability to serve the second defendant the hearing notice for him to appear in court.
Mr Abubakar told the court that he had written a letter to the attorney general of the federation asking that the charge be separated so that his client could take his plea and stand trial alone.
“My lord, this is the fifth year since this charge was filed, the defendant has been denied access to his family since then because he has not been allowed to travel outside the country where his family lives,” said Mr Abubakar.
He added, “You cannot continually and perpetually hold the man under suspicion that he committed a crime and so we will apply that this case be struck out until the prosecution is ready to prosecute it.”
The prosecuting counsel told the court that since they had written to the minister, they would have to wait for the minister’s response to know the next line of action.
Mr Nwite ruled that he would grant an adjournment on the condition that by the next adjourned date, the prosecution should comply with the order of court to serve the second defendant.
The judge warned that if the order of court to serve the second defendant was not complied with, the matter would be struck out.
“If you are not ready to go on with the matter, I am sounding this as the last warning that at the next adjourned date, I will strike out the matter even if heaven falls let it fall,” the judge said.
He adjourned the matter until December 5.
The federal government is suing Messrs Sowore and Bakare to court on allegations of treason and attempts to overthrow then-President Muhammadu Buhari.