The Katsina State High Court has adjourned to unspecified date (to communicate in due course) for the ruling on the appeal suit filed by Mahdi Shehu, challenging the jurisdiction of the upper Sheria court in Katsina that summons for his appearance in respect of the alleged defamation of character on the state secretary to the government of the state, Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa.
In a six ground application filed by counsel to the appellant, A A Machika, argued on non-existing law among several others, adding that failure to initiate, filed complaint take cognizance and proceed against the appellant on the defamation of character under section 188 of the Katsina State Shari’a criminal law 2021, is a denyal of the appellant constitutionaly guarantee and protected fundamental right to fair hearing. (cited section 36(1) of the Constitution)
He therefore submitted that where there is an appeal or challenge on the jurisdiction of the court or the competence of the trial, it suggested that such objection could be raised before arraignment.
Responding, the counsel to the Katsina state Secretary to the state government, Abubakar Ibrahim, asserted that upper Sheria court has the jurisdiction to summon and trial the appellant on criminal matters.
Citing section 5 (1e) part 3 of the Katsina State Shari’a Court Law 2000, and chapter 2 section 7(9) of the Katsina State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2021. “Under which the lower court has jurisdiction in criminal trials or cases.
“ Having been predicated under a penal code, it cannot be rendered invalid.”
He further argued that the requirements to state the rules in which the appellant is summoned is technical, it’s only a procedural and it would not prevent the court for taking the matter for administration of justice.
“ the essence of court is to give substantial justice and avoid technicalities”, he said.
He submitted that the relief grounds by the appellant appeal on nullifying the entire proceedings based on the mare irregularities is same as inviting the court to imbibe the technical knowledge of procedure at the expense of substantial justice.
Having listen to the arguments, the two Judges handling the case; Justice Abbas Bawale and Ashiru Sani adjourned for ruling on the matter on a date to be communicated soon.