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Published On: Tue, Dec 16th, 2014

HIV-infected wife: Counsels bicker over court’s jurisdiction

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From Mustapha Adamu, Kano

Counsels involved in trial of the HIV-infected wife, yesterday engaged in argument as to whether the court, where the case was transferred to, has jurisdiction to rule on the case or not.

 The wife (name withheld), April sued her husband, Mansur Musa Nyanya, for allegedly infecting her with HIV virus at Upper Shariah court, sitting at Sabon Gari, Kano State, but the case was transferred to Upper Shariah Court, sitting at Kasuwar Kurmi, Kano, for continuation of the trial.

 However, during the proceeding yesterday, the defense counsel, Aminu Muhammad Usman, claimed that the court lacks jurisdiction to judge the case since the said subject matter occurred in Abuja, insisting that the said offence is just a mere allegation.

 But the prosecuting counsel, Dalhatu Shehu Usman, argued that the court has the jurisdiction to judge the case, citing statements by a book of Shariah Jurispudence titled, Jawahilil Iklil volume II.

 According to him, the book, in page 233, states that trial of a case can take place everywhere, irrespective of the location of a subject matter.

 He added that the defendant and the plaintiff met and got married in Kano, stressing that the couple had shortly resided in the state before leaving for Abuja.

 In his ruling, magistrate Rabiu Aminu Sadauki, stressed that his court has jurisdiction to judge the case, adding that a book titled Tuhfatul Fukkani, states that  marriage is like a debt, it can happen anywhere, so its case be judged anywhere.

 He however ruled that the court will continue with the trial, using the power conferred to it to judge on any subject matter, regardless of territorial jurisdiction.

 Speaking on the matter, the chairperson of the Voice of Orphans and Widows Association of Nigeria (VOWAN), Hajiya Atine Abdullahi, stated that she expressed optimism the plaintiff would win the case, adding that the court seem to be honest in its judgement and would do justice to her.

 Mr. Dausayi adjourned the case to 15th January, 2015, for continued hearing.

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