A Chief Magistrate Court in Minna presided over by Hassan Mohammed has discharged five persons arraigned for alleged sponsoring of the violent subsidy withdrawal riots in Minna, Niger State at the beginning of the year.
According to the Chief Magistrate in his ruling, the suspects were discharged for lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the state counsel who had severally refused to appear before the court to defend their case.
The magistrate stated that the accused persons were arraigned on 24 April 2012 for alleged offenses of rioting and unlawful assembly contrary to sections 287, 106 and 102 of the Penal Code law but after several adjournments the state has not shown commitment to diligently prosecute their case.
Hassan Averred that “ the case has suffered several adjournments due to the absence of state prosecuting counsel handling it, today also they are absent with no reason”.
Consequently he said that the court had no option than to discharge the accused persons Bala Yakubu, Mohammed Maiyaki, Musa Yaro, Zakari Abubakar and Mohammed Danbaba based on the submissions of their counsel.
He said that, “The state or government are ordered not to effect the arrest of the accused persons” adding that he struck out the case in pursuant to section 165 of the criminal procedure code (CPC).