The Federal High Court, Lokoja, today adjourned until May 31st, the ongoing trial of PDP, youth leader and a blogger,Comrade Austin Usman Okai to enable the the presiding judge rule on the motion served by the prosecuting counsel and argument by the defence counsel,Mr J. S Okutepa SAN.
In today’s hearing,counsel for the state attempts filed a motion which according to him was an amendment to the earlier charges brought before the court against the defendant,Mr Austin Usman Okai
In his argument, Mr Okutepa,a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) argued that the prosecuting counsel has no power to amend a motion without the approval of the court.
“The prosecuting counsel is unqualified to amend charge,section 216 of the administration of criminal act stated clearly how a charge can be amended.
“How can a police who is charge with the responsibility of protecting the life and property of citizens turned himself to be a judge,my lordship there’s no charges to amend” he submitted.
The defence counsel therefore appealed to the the presiding judge to ” strike out this worthless paper they titled amended charge ”
Earlier Mr okutepa SAN,informed the court that the life of his client is been threatened by the argent of the state.
According to him the report has become necessary in view of the importance of the life of his client:”am reporting to my Lordship that the life of my client is been threatened by some Governor’s aides on both their Twitter and Facebook accounts
We’ve written a petition to the Inspector General of Police and copied the State Commissioner of police and other relevant security agencies in the state “he explained
He therefore submitted that his client be granted leave not to appear in court physically until trail is readily commence; ” that for the safety of my client my Lord, my client should be excuse from appearing in court as he cannot face trail after he is kill,in view of the life of my client I appeal to my lordship to grant my application ” he submitted.
The prosecuting counsel, who objected to the application without quoting authority from the law appealed to the presiding judge to discountenance the application.
The case has been adjourned to the 31st of May 2017 for ruling on the motions.
The court proceeding was witnessed by Mr Okai supporters who turned as early as 8 am to witnessed the court proceedings which begins at 9.15 am.