By Boluwaji Obahopo
LOKOJA —A Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja, yesterday, struck out the assassination case involving the state Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, Taofiq Isa, and four others for want of diligent prosecution.
Precisely a year ago, Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi West senatorial district approached the court, alleging an assassination attempt on his life by the the ALGON chairman, Ade Obege, Abdullahi Isah, Michael Bamidel and Ahmed Ajayi.
But ruling on the matter, the trial judge, Fola Ajayi, noted with regrets that the prosecution counsel could not open his case despite four adjournments.
The judge said it was obvious the petitioners were unwilling to present their witnesses, and left him with no other choice but to come to the conclusion that the prosecution had not diligently pursued their case and had abandoned it.
He, therefore, struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution and gave a consequential order for the prosecution to start their case afresh whenever they were ready.
Speaking on behalf of defence counsel, Zakari Abbas commended the judge for the judgment, saying: “The charge brought against the defendants has been struck out. As it stands, there is no criminal charge against the defendants.”
Reacting to the ruling, Isa expressed joy and described the ruling as an act of God, saying the judgment further cemented his trust that the judiciary still remained the hope of the common man.
He however said he had forgiven Senator Melaye who accused him wrongly, and called on all Okun sons and daughters to come together in the interest of the development of the area.