From Uche Uche Damaturu
Two men arraigned before the Chief Magistrate Court 1 in Damaturu, Yobe state capital, on four count charges of criminal conspiracy, breach of trust by public servant, cheating and criminal misappropriation, were yesterday granted bail to the sum N500,000 with two credible sureties by the presiding judge G.J. Hussaini.
However, after the court sitting, the victims of the offences could not hold themselves, and grieved over the granting of bail, started to protest while two among them who were aged women, gave way to weeping and tears, refusing to go until their money were refunded to them.
They even made moves into the court room to physically engage in fight with the accused persons but people around prevailed on them and restrained them from such act.
Our state correspondent recalls that earlier, the case was assigned to the senior magistrate court 1 in Damaturu, presided over by Chief magistrate Abubakar Lambart Malori, and on the first day for mentioning the case, the two accused persons did not appear in court, and so, in response to the request made by the defense council to the two accused persons, D.I.Ndahi Esq, the case was then adjourned for hearing to the 23rd of this month of November for hearing.
The two accused persons, the local government chairman of Potiskum, Mohammed Musa and Ibrahim Na Lado, a fare collector, all public servants of Potiskum local government area of Yobe state, are standing trial on misappropriation fund brought against.
The case which was filed by one Ibrahim Umar Mirinda and 32 others, pursuant to section 143 subsection (d) of the criminal procedure code, is seeking the prosecution of the two accused persons for criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, and cheating by personation which contradicts sections; 97, 312, 315 and 309 of the penal code law.
The complainants in the suit stated also, among other things, that each of them paid the sum of N1, 521, 000 to the accused persons as fare for pilgrimage to Mecca for the year 2017, that the accused persons diverted the money to their own use and thereby hindered them from going to the pilgrimage this year, 2017.
They also stated that despite reporting the matter two months ago to the criminal investigation and intelligence department in Damaturu, the state capital, the two accused persons have not been arraigned before any competent court of law or charged for any offence.
However, when the case up for mentioning before the court, the accused persons were not in court.
The defense council for the accused persons told the court that the first accused person was not in court and has earlier told him that he is attending a workshop in Abuja, while the second respondent, Potiskum, Mohammed Musa and Ibrahim Na Lado, was not served appropriately, that is by direct service, as the letter of service was served to the secretary of the local government council and as such, it was not clear whether or not the second accused person was served at all.
The presiding judge, Chief magistrate Abubakar Lambart Malori, in response to the request made by the defense council to the two accused persons, D.I.Ndahi Esq, adjourned the case to the 25th of this month of October for hearing.
He however, summoned the secretary of Potiskum local government area to appear before the court to explain why he did not serve the letter on the second accused person.