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Bamaiyi disowns co-accused

Posted by OLATUBOSUN SOWEMIMO on 2006/05/17 | Views: 411 |

Bamaiyi disowns co-accused


FORMER Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ishaya Bamaiyi yesterday told an Ikeja High Court Lagos to separate his trial from other suspects in the alleged attempt on the life of The Guardian publisher, Mr. Alex Ibru.

FORMER Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ishaya Bamaiyi yesterday told an Ikeja High Court Lagos to separate his trial from other suspects in the alleged attempt on the life of The Guardian publisher, Mr. Alex Ibru.

The other suspects are former Chief Security Officer to late General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, Lt. Col Jubrin Balas Yakubu and Mohammed Rabo Lawal, a police officer.

In his application, Bamaiyi said it is not the first time he was seeking to have his trial separated from that of other accused persons, as he had sometime in the past, through his counsel, made an open application in the court.

He said, he was constrained to take the steps when he was made to realise by his co-accused persons that their only immediate game plan was to delay the trial of the case by all available means, till the present administration leaves office in 2007, after which they hoped, the in-coming administration would give them an unconditional release.

He said he does not accept the idea of a deliberate delay since he believes whether now or later, he would need to be cleared of the charges against him, of which he believes he is innocent.

He added that his deteriorating health makes it even more imperative for him to seek a clear avenue for a speedy trial.

Counsel to the third and fifth accused persons, Al-Mustapha, Rabo Lawal and Mr. Olakekan Ojo argued that the court should not grant Bamaiyi (first accused persons) the application saying the request is capable of prejudicing the trial of the other accused persons.

He added that since they were jointly charged for the offence and have been standing trial together it would be unfair for the court to separate the hearing of the trial for any reason.

Gen. Bamaiyi’s counsel Mr. Wale Shittu subsequently argued that the law empowers the court to separate hearing, if the need arises and that it will be in the interest of justice if the application for separate trial is heard and granted.

Bamaiyi had on March 20, urged the court to grant the application due to his deteriorating health, which led to his admission into the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) for diabetes and hypertension.

A medical report dated March 14 from Dr. O. A Fasanmade of LUTH said Bamaiyi was on admission for optimal investigation, diabetes and hypetension control and follow up.

As at the last sitting on the trial, all the accused on April 27, persons did not appear in court.

Officials from Kirikiri Prison said the vehicle that was to convey them to court broke down.

Due to their absence, the trial could not hold and was subsequently adjourned.

Further hearing in the case comes up today before Justice Olubunmi Oyewole


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