The trial of Idoko Sunday and Katdel Dabit, two policemen, who allegedly killed an Assistant Superintendent of NSCDC, Ogah Jumbo, was on Monday stalled in the Federal High Court, Abuja over fear of alleged “bias’’ raised by the family.
Two former traffic wardens of the Nigeria Police Force were earlier arraigned for their complicity in the killing of the Civil Defence Corps officer.
The police and the autopsy reports had shown that the deceased was excessively beaten on the head leading to brain hemorrhage and thereafter his death.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the defendants, who pleaded not guilty are being tried on charges of culpable homicide punishable under Section 97 of the Penal Code with death as penalty.
At the resumed hearing, Patrick Ogele, the Prosecution Counsel, informed the court of his readiness to present two prosecution witnesses for the commencement of definite trial.
Joshua Musa (SAN), Counsel for the deceased family, argued raised objection to Ogele’s submission, adding that the family did not have confidence in the witnesses the police had assembled.
Musa also explained that the prosecution team had not consulted with the team of lawyers representing the family, adding that both teams required to had harmonized their positions before opening the case.
He said: “The prosecution were not ready and cannot secure any conviction going by the way and manner in which they want to go about the case.
“My Lord, I pray the court for an adjournment to enable us put our heads together as it is not only the duty of the prosecution to handle this matter.”
Musa also submitted that all avenues would exploited to ensure diligent prosecution of the case, adding that taking over the prosecution duty was a possibility.
Ogele, however, urged the court to discountenance the views raised by counsel to the deceased’s family, adding that the police were disposed to handling the matter with diligence.
Justice Baba Idris, went ahead to adjourn the matter to run between September 19, October 7 and October 9.
The defendants had already been subjected to the internal disciplinary procedures of the Force, tried in an Orderly Room and dismissed before their arraignment.