By  Innocent Anaba

LAGOS—The Court of Appeal, yesterday, struck out the appeal by Lagos State Government, challenging the judgment of a Lagos High Court, which discharged and acquitted former Chief Security Officer to the late Gen. Sani Abacha, Major al-Mustapha and three others over the attempted murder of the publisher of The Guardian Newspapers, Mr. Alex Ibru.

Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, in the lead judgment, noted that the appellant after filing the appeal, went to sleep.

According to the appellate court, the appellant was not diligent in the prosecution of the appeal, which it subsequently struck out.

Defence lawyer had urged the court to dismiss the appeal, contending that the prosecution had no interest in pursuing it further.

Al-Mustapha, a former Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, James Danbaba, a former Military Administrator of Zamfara State; Lt.-Col. Jibrin Yakubu; and a former head of the Aso Rock Anti-Riot Police, Mohammed Rabo Lawal, were tried for their alleged involvement in the attempted murder of  Mr. Ibru.

The lower court, had in its ruling, on a no-case submission by the defence team, held that the evidence on all the counts preferred against the accused persons were worthless. It had also held that there was no evidence of conspiracy as alleged on the first count.

Dissatisfied with the lower court’s decision, the then Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Supo Sashore, SAN, appealed against the court verdict.

According to the appellate court, the appellant had failed to pursue the appeal and subsequently struck out same.

It will be noted that Major al-Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan are currently standing trial for the death of late Alhaja Kudirat Abiola before a Lagos High Court.

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