The continuous absence of some of the accused at previous trials had made the determination of the case suffer persistent setbacks, as the court was forced to adjourn.
When the case came up for hearing yesterday, the Presiding Judge, Justice Wakil Gana, said she was left with no other option than to adjourn the case till December 13, due to the absence of four of the 65 accused persons.
The judge said the decision was made to enable the four accused appear alongside the other 61 suspects, who were present at yesterday’s hearing, when the case comes up on the adjourned day.
The judge took the decision in response to the prayer of the prosecution counsel, Haruna Izge, who had argued that: “It will be improper for the hearing to continue in the absence of other suspects as they are all facing similar charges.”
The defence counsel, Mr. Tahir Gundar, did not object to the prayer, saying he hopes “the case can have accelerated hearing when all suspects are present.”
The 65 suspects standing trial at the Maiduguri High Court were among the over 200 others, who were apprehended at different locations within Maiduguri metropolis, for alleged participation in the 2009 confrontation of the sect with security operative that led to scores of casualties on both sides including innocent residents of the town.