Magistrate’s absence stalls arraignment of retired NAF officer, Bilal over alleged threat to life


The scheduled arraignment of retired Group Captain Peter Bilal before Magistrate Court 13, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, on Thursday, was stalled due to the absence of the Magistrate, Oluwakemi Ariwoola.

Although, counsel for the plaintiff, Dr Oluwaseyi Leigh, and that of the defendant, Luka Haruna, and the plaintiff, Dr Israel Emmanuel were in court for the planned arraignment, before the registrar of the court announced that Magistrate Ariwoola was indisposed and that the matter would not proceed.

“The matter is listed for motion/arraignment. but the case will be adjourned,” he said and the court consequently fixed July 26, 2022, for the hearing of the motion and for Bilal’s arraignment.

It would be recalled that Magistrate Ariwoola had, on June 17, fixed Thursday for Bilal’s arraignment because the retired officer was not in court in the last sitting.

Bilal is being charged with allegations that he threatened to kill a neighbour, Emmanuel, who is a medical doctor,

Emmanuel, who resides at Garki 2, Abuja, had filed a direct criminal complaint with case number: CR/16/2022 against the former Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officer, where-in he averred that Bilal, who also resides in the same estate where he lives, had continued to intimidate and harass him over allegation that he committed criminal trespass against him (Bilal).

According to him, he has suffered psychological torture, physical and psychological abuse, intimidation, untold and unquantifiable contempt, hatred, and ridicule from neighbours on account of the unrelenting and unremitting hostile attitude of the defendant (Bilal).

But Bilal, in a notice of preliminary objection filed by his lawyer, Haruna, disagreed with Emmanuel and prayed for an order of the court striking out or dismissing Emmanuel’s suit, together with the motion on notice.

In the eight grounds canvassed in his argument, Bilal argued that by the procedure of direct criminal complaint, the court was required to send the complaint to the Nigerian Police Force for investigation after the plea of the defendant.

“The complainant (Emmanuel) herein had already made the same complaint herein to the Divisional Police Headquarters, Garki, Abuja against this same defendant for proper investigation.

“The complaint herein has consequently been duly and completely investigated by the Nigerian Police Force and an investigation report has been issued by the police,” he said.

According to him, following the police investigation report and its findings, the police have arrested, arraigned and commenced prosecution of the person found culpable in the process which is the complainant (Emmanuel) herein.

He said the criminal charge which has been preferred against Emmanuel was contained in Charge No: CR/33/2022 in the matter of Commissioner of Police Vs. Israel Emmanuel “pending before Court No. 14 of this honourable court presided over by His Lordship, Olumide Bamisile, Esq,” among others.

Bilal, who said it would be in the best interest of justice and fairness to allow Court 14 to continue its trial on the charge preferred against Emmanuel, said this would guard against abuse of the court process.


Magistrate’s absence stalls arraignment…


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