Justice Josephine Anenih of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Maitama, has adjourned hearing in the case over the alleged murder of Louisa Eni Umukoro, a former director of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Mrs. Umukoro was alleged to be murdered by his husband, Charles Umukoro, a Delta politician who was arraigned in May at an FCT High Court.
When the matter came up hearing, the defence counsel, Peter Okhokhai, introduced A. B. Mamman as the counsel brought in from the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubukar Malami, to take over the case.
On his part, Mamman said he was mandated by the AGF to take over the matter citing Section 174 of the Constitution, adding that he had written to the Nigerian Police over the issue.
He accused Okutepa, who was authorised by the office of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to prosecute the case, of hijacking the case from the IGP.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Jibrin Okutepa, protested an application to take-over the trial.
“Why would the defence insist on who should prosecute for the IGP, and why would the defence and the said prosecution counsel be in unholy alliance? So this application is strange,” he said.
In her ruling, Justice Aninih said the matter has to continue before the court, explaining that “cogent reasons constituting sufficient grounds for an adjournment has not been made out by the defendant justifying an adjournment of this case at this point.”
“If, thereafter, there is any relevant application necessitating the suspension of this matter, this court will definitely take cognisance of same,” she held.
The police had accused Umukoro of attacking the wife by “hitting her on the head which caused internal hemorrhage with the knowledge that her death would be the probable consequence.”
The case has been adjourned till December 5, for hearing.