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Wadume: Malami speaks on covering ‘certain persons’ from prosecution

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Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, said no certain persons were spared from prosecution in the trial of Wadume.

He was reacting to the media reports that he alledgedly spared some persons from being prosecuted when Wadume was arraigned in Court in Abuja.

In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Minister explained:

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“What the office did was to severe the charges in view of the unavailability of the soldiers who in their own case need to be released by the military authorities, in view of the fact that they were perhaps undergoing military processes before their release.”

The Minister said that the interest of justice required and legitimately allowed for segmenting the case in the interest of speedy trial.

“It is in the interest of justice to accord speedy trial to the accused persons that are readily available to stand trial as against delaying at the expense of other co-accused persons who in the peculiarity of this case are not available for immediate arraignment.

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“It is a common practice that absence of a co-accused will not constitute impediment to the progress of a case.

“Those available are entitled to fair trial and have their case determined within a reasonable time as a matter of Constitutional rights. More so, looking at the fact that the available accused persons are not to be held responsible for the unavailability of the co-accused persons.

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“The Office of the Attorney-Genral of the Federation and Minister of Justice has taken steps to procure the availability of the co-accused and shall have them arraigned immediately upon procuring their availability by the military authorities.”

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