A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fined the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami the sum of N200,000 for delaying the trial of four co-defendants of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu.
Justice Binta Nyako of the Abuja Federal High Court gave the order at the resumed trial of the four accused persons on Wednesday.
The accused persons, Bright Chimezie, Chidiebere Onwudike, Benjamin Maduagwu and David Nwaurusi, are being tried alongside Kanu over terrorism-related charges.
At the resumed sitting on Wednesday, the judge was informed by an official from the Federal Ministry of Justice that the prosecuting counsel, Shuaib Magaji Labaran, had travelled out of the country.
Although two witnesses against the defendants were in court, the official said that the trial could not proceed due to Labaran’s absence.
The four accused persons had through their lawyers complained that they suffered to raise funds to travel to Abuja for the trial.
As a result of the delay occasioned by the development, Nyako ordered the AGF to pay each of the defendants N50,000 for the inconveniences they suffered.
The N200,000 must be paid before the court’s next sitting.
Nyako also warned the defense lawyers to stop using frivolous applications to delay the trial, which commenced in 2015.
The trial was adjourned till March 17.