Alleged defamation: Sheikh Abduljabar opposes four SANs’ prosecuting counsels

The Kano State Upper Shari’ah Court Presided over by Ibrahim Sarki Yola has fixed 2nd of September, 2021, to deliver its ruling on the eligibility of four Senior Advocates of Nigeria SANs to continue with the prosecuting of Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara.

Kabara is standing trial on the allegations bordering on defamation to religion and derogatory statements against Holy Prophet Muhammmad (SAW).

When the case resumed Wednesday for hearing, four Senior Advocates of Nigeria SANs, Suraj Saida, Professor Mamman Lawan Yusufari, Muhammmad Sani Katu appeared for the prosecution on behalf of Kano State Government.

The lead counsel, Suraj Sa’aida, while tendering the fiat Instrument to the court, on the instruction of Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Musa Abdullahi Lawan, urging the court to terminate the First Information Report (FIR) earlier presented to the court by Police when the Defendant was first arraigned on 16th July, 2021 and granted leave to the Prosecution read over Prepared Charge to Abduljabbar Kabara.

In his response, the Defense Lead Counsel, Saleh Muhd Bakaro raised 3 objections related to the eligibility and validity of the Fiat Instrument tendered by Four Senior Advocates of Nigeria to appear and prosecute his client.

Barrister Bakaro argued that section 211(B) is not included in the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

He said, “I want to call to the attention of the court that section 211 sub (b) the section relied by the Attorney General to give fiat to the SAN,s is not included in the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

Therefore, both the Attorney General and Learned SANs misquoted the law. Fundamentally this is a futile mission by the Attorney General and the four Senior Advocates. They have no eligibility to stand on behalf of the state Government”

Similarly, the Lead Counsel to Abduljabbar argued that appearing of the Four Senior Advocates in Upper Shari’ah Court has contradicted Section 2 of Legal Practice Act which promulgated to regulate the conduct of Legal Practices.

Bakaro also argued that appearing the Four Senior Advocates of Nigeria has violated Legal Practices Privileges Committee for Senior Advocates of Nigeria as well as Privileges, Functions And Rule of SAN.

“Supposing the four Learned Senior Advocates of Nigeria have Legal Power to appear in this case. We vehemently challenge the New Prepare Charge by Prosecution. That the Defendant was first arraigned in this court on the 16th July, 2021.

“Again, in Islamic Law, if plea of the defendant is taken, prosecution has no legal power to amend or add any issue.

“We submit that this court lacks jurisdiction to allow prosecution to bring in a new prepared charge.”

Also responding to the argument of Bakaro, the Lead Counsel to Prosecution Suraj Saida SAN, submitted that in criminal proceedings taking plea of a Defendant comes first, before any other objections from Defense Counsel.

The Senior Advocate relied on Section 390 (2) of Adminstration of Criminal Criminal Justice Law 2019.

Delivering the ruling, the Presiding Judge Mallam Ibrahim Sarki Yola, said he prepared not to give a bench ruling today, considering the laws adduced by both counsel during their arguments on the issues canvassed.

He consequently adjourned the sitting to 2nd September, 2021 for ruling.

The judge further stated that he will first resolve the eligibility of the fiat brought by the Senior Advocates of Nigeria before argument of their appearance as well as the New Prepared Charge by the prosecution.