Clergyman seeks judicial review of trial |


A clergyman of the House on the Rock, Abuja, Uche Aigbe, who is standing trial before a Zuba Magistrate Court for being in possession of prohibited firearms, has sought a judicial review of his trial.

The police accused the clergyman of wielding an AK-47 in a viral video on Sunday, February 12, on the altar of the church while preaching.

Aigbe, along with Olakunle Ogunleye and Promise Ukachukwu, were dragged by the FCT Commissioner of Police before Senior Magistrate Mohammed Ismail at the Zuba court.

They were arraigned on three counts of possession of prohibited firearm, inciting disturbance, and abetting illegal possession of firearm. The offence, the police said, contravened the provisions of Section 3 of the Firearms Act, Cap F28, of the federation.

He was further accused of making inflammatory statements with intent to cause or likely to cause a breach of peace, contrary to the provisions of Section 114 of the Penal Code Act and punishable under the same section.

After the closure of the prosecution’s case, the defence counsel filed a no-case submission, which the court, however, dismissed on August 10.

The court, in addition, ordered the embattled pastor to enter his defence in the case marked CR/06/2023.

However, the case could not go on today following a stay of proceedings order granted by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the FCT High Court, Maitama.

The stay of proceedings order was obtained by the defendants following their filing of judicial review, challenging the position of the Magistrate Court ordering them to enter their defence.

Pastor Aigbe and others claimed in the notice of judicial review of the case that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

The defendants further claimed that the prosecution failed to serve them with proof of evidence in the matter.

They further stated that they were not comfortable with the magistrate court’s order directing them to enter their defence.

They, therefore, wanted the High Court to review the lower court’s decision.

When the case was called at the lower court, Senior Magistrate Ismail expressed his displeasure with the counsel for the defendants for the misrepresentation of the facts of the proceedings in the notice of judicial review filed before the High Court.

Ismail noted that he is neutral in the matter and as such, the defence ought to have stated the facts as they are before his court instead of misrepresenting them before the high court.

He, however, said the Magistrate Court would respond appropriately to the notice of judicial review filed by the defendants and transmit its record of proceedings to the High Court.

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