A court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, has refused to assign a date to hear the criminal complaint filed by human rights lawyer, Tope Akinyode, against top government officials, who violated safety precautions during the burial of Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari Abba Kyari.
Magistrate Zubairu Mohammad, who is handling the case, said the file had been taken over by the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory over unknown reasons.
Akinyode had filed a direct criminal complaint against Garba Shehu, Boss Mustapha, Ahmed Bashir and nine others.
The magistrate asked Akinyode to approach either the Chief Judge or Chief Registrar for proper explanation after the lawyer inquired into why the case file was transferred.
When Akinyode visited the office of the Chief Judge of the FCT on Tuesday to inquire about the case file, he was kept seated for over two hours by court officials until it was later discovered that the Chief Judge had left the office while the lawyer waited.
Akinyode was later directed to seek audience with the Chief Registrar of the FCT,who disclosed that the case file was with the Chief Judge, who had refused to return it.
The registrar said the Chief Judge would not assign a date yet because of the “special” condition of the country, apparently referring to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Despite Akinyode’s argument that other Nigerians, who violated the restriction of movement order have been summarily tried, the registrar declared that it was not clear when the Chief Judge would allow the case to proceed.