…Those On Murder Trial Not Part Of Those To Be Released-Delta Attorney General
By Emmanuel Okogba
August 2, 2018, will never be forgotten by Mrs. Maimuna Hassan and her family members as her husband, Mallam Hassan Abu, gave up the ghost exactly nine months after he was allegedly stabbed with the butt of a cutlass-file on the head by three men in Orogun, Ugheli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Recall that late Mallam Hassan, a security man and native of Reazave Town, Maiduguri, Borno State, was said to have attempted to resist the three men who carried out the cowardly attack while trying to abscond with harvested palm fruit from his principal’s compound.
The trio, had on November 15, 2017 by 2 pm, besieged the compound with a palm fruit harvester, and after harvesting the palm fruit without taking permission from the owner of the compound or the the late security man, an altercation ensued.
Vanguard reports that the late Hassan Abu, was allegedly stabbed with a cutlass file on the head by the three men, which left him incapacitated for nine months, leading to his untimely death on August 2, 2018.
Mrs. Maina, while speaking on the latest development on her husband’s trial, said: “I suspect a grand conspiracy to cover up this case in order to free those currently standing trial. My husband suffered until his death. They are planning to release my husband’s killer on June 15, 2020.
Nine months after the attack, the late Hassan could not talk, eat, walk and above all, unable to recognize anybody till his death.
She added: “My husband was in misery, pain and anguish until he gave up the ghost. His alleged killers never showed him concerns neither was my husband visited in the hospital. They never contributed a penny to his medical bills during this nine month of anguish, pain and misery.
“After my husband’s demise, two of his three killers, were roaming freely and bragging that they were untouchable. Only one was arrested and still in custody while his accomplices have filed for bail of which judgment will be delivered on June 15, 2020.”
A Grand Conspiracy To Conspiracy To Cover Up The Murder Case
Speaking further, Mrs Hassan said: “The police report on the murder case is not in the case file, which clearly indicates there is a conspiracy to conceal the truth with a view to securing the release of one of the suspects. Secondly, the autopsy report was not in the case file when the case was charged to court. Till this moment, the prosecutor and the Police are yet to contact the doctor who performed the autopsy so as to list him as a witness.
“The suspect who sent the duo to go and steal palm fruits is not mentioned in all the documents tendered in court neither was he charged. Clearly, the man is roaming freely while his victim is in the grave. There are strong indications that he is the one financing an alleged attempt to cover up the case.”
“Before the trial, the prosecutor never spoke to me so as to prepare me for trial. I was never given a prior notice about the trial, my statement was not taken and above all, I ran into the trial by chance.
“There is a bail application in court, of which judgement will be delivered on June 15, 2020. The question now is, how do you apply for a bail application for a person who is on trial for murder?
Mrs. Hassan’s Loss Of Confidence In Judicial System
“The dimension of the murder case is making me doubt the judicial system. My concern is, why is the person that sent them to steal palm fruit still roaming freely. I believe that the case is not currently given the seriousness it deserves.”
The Demands Of Mrs. Hassan
“The Police statement of murder that I made at the Delta State Police Command and Zone 5, Benin should be in the case file. The Police Officer in Zone 5, who investigated the crime, Officer Ogedengbe is supposed to be called as a witness. Myself and the Police in Orogun who investigated attempted murder were the only two persons that were listed as witness. Why is it so? Why is the statement of murder I gave in Zone 5, Benin not in the case file?
“My statement on how my husband was killed by three men which I gave to police investigators at Zone 5, Benin is not included in the case file. Is that the way to prosecute a case? Where on earth is a murderer granted bail?
“Also, the state counsel and the DPP office have not listed the pathologist who conducted the autopsy or the police in zone 5 who investigated the murder case as witnesses. I feel oppressed and frustrated. I want justice for my husband. The government should come to my aid because I’m a defenseless poor widow. My husband was killed in the most dehumanizing manner and I am left to fend for our four children alone.”
Reacting to the development, the Delta State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Peter Mrakpor, suggested that who ever is not satisfied with the way the state prosecutor is handling their cases could hire their own lawyer.
On prison decongestion due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mrakpor confirmed that those standing trial for murder were not part of those to be released.
He added: “There is concern about prison population with reference to the coronavirus pandemic. At the moment, prisons have refused to accept inmates. Even if the court says remand, the prisons have insisted on not opening their gates. There will be a meeting of all Chief Judges and Attorneys General in the country on Thursday June 4, 2020 to look at how to address this issue of prison decongestion.”
On the late Mallam Hassan Abu case, Mrakpor said: “My challenge now is that I don’t know the facts about this case. Did she report the matter to my office? Does she have a lawyer?
“If you run into a case of this magnitude by chance, you should have your own lawyer. I encourage people to have their own lawyers with cases of such magnitude. I usually give people with court cases the opportunity to provide a lawyer they trust to prosecute.
“If she ran into the case by chance earlier, what she ought to do is to either come to our office or get somebody to write a letter of protest to say ‘ I did not make a statement or ought to make a statement before the trial’. ‘ I don’t have my statement in the case file or something’
“As it is now, between Tuesday and Wednesday, let her give me details of the case so I can reach out to the zonal head to find out what is happening. Once I have information, I act without delay because that is my nature.”