The judge of Zamfara State High Court Vll in Gusau, the state capital, Justice Bello Kucheri has adjourned hearing of three cases filed against the All Progressives Congress (APC) by Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa, challenging the legality of Mai Mala Buni inaugurating a caretaker committee in the state on 18th May 2022.
The judge adjourned the case following the failure of Marafa’s counsels to appear in the court as agreed by both parties on 17th February 2022, saying that the lead counsel, Barrister John Shaka, wrote to the court demanding adequate security before they could go on with the case.
When contacted, one of the counsels to Marafa, Barrister Musbau Salami said Shaka had written to the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kulu Aliyu, demanding adequate security before they proceed with the case but the justice has not granted their request.
“Everyone knew what happened on the last sitting in the court on the 17th February 2022 when political thugs invaded the court and attacked one of the counsels but he managed to escape,” he said.
According to him, the counsels have reported the case of criminal force on litigants and harassment of counsel by political thugs at the premises of court VII in Gusau on the 17th February 2022.
“The proceedings of the court in all these cases were conducted peacefully without any rancour and the matters were adjourned to March 14, 2022, for further consideration,” he added.
“After the day’s proceedings, both counsels and litigants came outside the courtroom to be confronted by newsmen who insisted on the counsels granting them interviews to highlight the proceedings of the day and they were obliged by the counsels to the parties.
“While the interview was on, one could notice a buildup of unruly political thugs who were shouting on top of their voices using abusive words in an attempt to provoke reactions from other persons present.
“By the grace of God, everyone present ignored them while the counsels and litigant made their way into their waiting vehicles. As soon as the counsels and one Bello Bakyasuwa Maradun, the 11th plaintiff in suit No. ZMS/GS/78/2021 entered their car and before they could start the car and engage the gear, the said political thugs started beating the plaintiff from the open window of the car without any provocation.
“They then pounced on the vehicle and started hitting it violently. To avoid possible escalation of violence, the counsel quickly drove out of the court premises to a safe distance.
“But for the quick reaction of counsel, the thugs who apparently came armed with machetes, daggers, knives and their likes prepared to maim and kill, the abominable would have occurred right in the court premises.
“One is just lucky to be alive now to tell the story. The event described above occurred in the full view of members of the general public who came to watch the proceedings, pressmen, several counsels including the Hon. Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Zamfara State who came to observe proceedings of the court.”
Commenting on the issue, the spokesman of Marafa’s group, Hon. Bello Bakyasuwa Maradun, said the delay by the state’s chief judge to respond to the request of the group indicated delay of justice, saying that it is a deliberate attempt to deny justice.
“The letter was sent to the State’s chief judge about three days after the court sitting on the 17th February 2022 and up till now no reply from the chief judge which signifies total disobedience of the state law,” he said.
According to him, the leadership of Marafa’s group, led by its State Chairman, Alhaji Surajo Garba Maikatako, held a closed-door meeting with their counsels and agreed to absent themselves from the court proceedings until sanity is restored in the system.
“We would no longer attend the court proceedings until the Chief Judge of the state assures us of adequate security because human life has no duplicate,” he said.
When asked about the next line of action, Maradun said if the Chief Judge does not grant their request, another line of action would be taken, saying that they cannot be intimidated by the government to drop the case.
He called on all Marafa’s supporters to remain intact and law-abiding, pointing out that justice must prevail at all cost, saying that democracy does not include delay of justice, which he said is equal to denial of justice.