By Peter Duru
Makurdi – A Makurdi High Court presided by the Justice Theresa Igoche, Wednesday struck out the murder charges against former Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Special Duties, Joseph Kyaagba for want of jurisdiction.
Mr. Kyaagba was arraigned for his alleged involvement in the murder of his former colleague, Denen Igbana a former Security Assistant to the governor who was brutally murdered in his home in May 2016,
While the hearing lasted, the prosecution led by Solomon Ogah, closed its case while the defense counsel led by Mr. Bernard Hom a Seniour Advocate filled a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter and urged the court to strike out suit.
Hom had argued that no prima facie case was established against the accused hence his no case submission.
According to Hom the matter and the charges were brought in contravention of the provisions of section185 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
Relying on the provisions of the Act, Hom contended that “the Attorney General of the State can initiate the action or in the alternative an attorney by leave of court. But in this instant case no such procedure was followed hence the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain same.
“Hence there is nothing in evidence before this court to move the accused to enter a defense.” He argued.
Prosecution led by Solomon Ogah, who insisted that the charges before the court were proper, filled a counter affidavit in opposition to the application by the defense counsel arguing that a prima facie case was established in the matter.
Ruling, Justice Igoche agreed with defense counsel that the case was not properly initiated insisting that no leave of court was sought and obtained for the charges to be endorsed by Attorney General of State.
Relying on past decisions of the Supreme Court, Justice Igoche held that “this court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain this matter. It is hereby stroke out and the accused person is discharged. I cannot delve into the other issues because of lack of jurisdiction,” he held.
Reacting to the ruling, the prosecuting counsel said “the law has only been restated. The competency of the matter is still standing before the court. It is the charge before my lord that has been withdrawn which according to the court was not properly filled according to the rules.”