The trial of Obiajulu Uja at the Zuba Magistrate Court in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, has been stalled due to the non-appearance of prosecutors, the defendant and counsels.
A legal source at the Magistrate Court told PRNigeria that the trial could not continue today as a result of the absence of the litigation parties.
“The matter is adjourned to the 26th day of September, 2023 for a report on the health condition of the defendant and hearing notice be served on the Correctional Facility,” he said.
Recalled that in June, the Zuba Magistrate Court in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, ordered the Kuje Correctional facility to continue holding Mr. Obiajulu Uja, in their custody.
PRNigeria reports that Uja, a supporter of the OBIdient movement; in early April, was carried off a Lagos-Abuja flight, after he started a lone protest demanding that President Bola Tinubu (then President-Elect) must never be sworn in as President, on May 29.
The OBIdient supporter is said to be mentally-unstable, according to a medical report tendered to the Court at previous hearings, on the case.
But Magistrate Abdulazeez Ismail Muhammad, the trial judge, at the hearing on the matter (then), referred him back to the medical facility at Kuje Correctional facility, for further urgent medical treatment for a period of 2 months.
After listening to submissions of the prosecutor and defence counsels on bail application as well as the examination of the medical report which presupposed that the defendant is suffering from mental disorder, the magistrate noted that the defendant is of unsound mind and consequently is not fit for trial.
According to Magistrate Abdulazeez, since only a sane person could stand trial, it would be unsafe for the court to deliver its ruling on the bail application at that stage.
The magistrate said: “Having equally found that the defendant needs urgent further treatment and having released the medical observation report is not too conclusive on the peculiar mental challenge of the defendant and in the interest of justice the appropriate thing for the court to do is to further subject the defendant to further medical care at the expense of the federal government.
“Thus, I hereby refer the defendant back to the medical facility at Kuje Correctional Center for further urgent medical treatment for a period of two months at the expense of the federal government of Nigeria pursuant to the provision of Section 278(4).
“The control of the corrections (medicals) is at liberty to engage experts from other medical facilities within the FCT. However, if the mental soundness of the defendant appropriates during this period and before the expiration of the period, the medical officer shall file a report forthwith to enable the court proceed with trial including delivering its ruling on the the defendant’s bail application”.