By Abdallah el-Kurebe & Gbenga Oke
Sokoto â€” The strike action embarked by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria in Sokoto, yesterday, stalled the trial of former Governor and DPP Presidential candidate in the 2007 general elections, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, at a Federal High Court.
The case file was said not to have been found as the clerks, who are custodians of case files, have been on strike.
Bafarawa, who arrived the court at 09.24 a.m, had to leave when he found out that the gate leading to the court premises was locked with bicycle chain.
However, when the Chief Registrar of the court, Alhaji Bala Muhammad Gusau, arrived at 09.56 a.m, he ordered the chain to be cut to enable counsel to parties and journalists have access to the court premises.
Later when the Judge, Justice Abbas summoned counsel to the Chambers, he informed them of his inability to lay his hands on the case file because of the Judicial staffâ€™s strike.
Later, counsel to Bafarawa, Rickey Tarfa, told journalists that the case could not proceed because of the staff strike. â€œWe cannot proceed with the case because the case file has not been seen due to the strike and the case has been adjourned. We will have to wait until the adjourned date by which time the staff might have resumed work.â€
Counsel to EFCC, Chief Adeniyi Akintola, SAN said: â€œWe would have loved the case to proceed because there are motions, which we filed that would have been moved. The strike action has brought a setback.â€
The case has, therefore, been adjourned till March 21.
Bafarawa was charged to court by the EFCC alongside 15 others for alleged corrupt enrichment to the tune of N15 billion.
Forty-seven count charge were prepared by the EFCC against them while arrest warrant was issued against seven others, who could not appear before the court.