ment: Court orders direct service of subpoena on prophetess
A Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Bukuru, Plateau State has ordered for a direct and personal service of a subpoena on Prophetess Deborah, wife of a clergy, Danjuma Fwenji, the General Overseer, God’s Grace Divine Mission, in a case of alleged enticement.
Chief Magistrate Anderawus Maikai gave the order on Tuesday in his ruling on a motion filed by the Fwenji’s counsel, Tayo Otitoju.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Leonard Dilkon, a former lawmaker, had dragged the cleric, Evangelist Fwenji, before the Bukuru-Jos Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly enticing his (Dilkon’s) wife, Joy, which led to their divorce.
Dilkon had through his Counsel, Francis Okafor, secured a subpoena to be served on the Prophetess as a star witness on March 21, 2019, but service on her personally proved abortive.
Consequently, Dilkon secured a second subpoena on April 19 to be served on the Prophetess through Fwenji’s Counsel though she (Prophetess) is not a compellable witness.
NAN reports that it was at that point that Fwenji, through his counsel, Otitoju, objected by filling a motion countering the action, which she described as “counterproductive and an abuse of court process.
“My lord, the action of the complainant (Dilkon) is a guise to get a sound bite of the cherry having failed the first time.
“We urge the court to frown at the antics of the complaint as such is reprehensible and should not be allowed at all.
“It’s our believe that setting aside Exhibit A, dated March 21, 2019, would be in the interest of Justice and would not prejudice the complainant more so that Deborah is not a compellable witness as stated in the court’s earlier ruling in Exhibit B.”
But Dilkon countered the motion on the ground that it was baseless and needless since the Prophetess has not appeared before the court as ordered.
He pleaded: “We believe that the Court knows the reason why it decided to issue another witness summon to the witness to appear before it for the purpose of just determination of the case.
“Objection of this nature, to us, can only be raised at the time when she (Prophetess) has obeyed the Court by appearing/coming to the Court.
“We believe that the Respondent will be greatly prejudiced by the grant of the applicant’s motion and therefore urge the court to dismiss it for lack of merit.”
But the Chief Magistrate, in his ruling, upheld the application of Fwenji on the ground that his earlier ruling of March 21 and April 19 have not been appealed against.
He held: “It will amount to summersault if the Court will rule against its own ruling, more so that it hasn’t been appealed against.
“This honourable court first gave an order which was not properly carried out.
“Again the court gave another, which again wasn’t properly served on the witness.
“The service must not be through the counsels as the respondent/complainant (Dilkon) tries to do, but it must to her personally and l so rule in favour of the applicant (Fwenji).
“Consequently, this court hereby orders that a proper service should be made on Prophetess Deborah directly and personally for her to appear on the next adjourned date.”
The Magistrate then adjourned the case until March 3 for continuation of hearing.