Malam Hussaini Turaki of the Upper Sharia Court 1 in Bauchi has issued a bench warrant to arrest the popular Bauchi based Islamic scholar and Chief Imam of Dutsen Tanshi Jumaat Mosque, Dr Idris Abdulaziz, for not honouring the court summons.
Daily Trust reported that Imam Abdulaziz had earlier been remanded in correctional custody for alleged public disturbance and inciting public unrest by a Chief Magistrates Court in Bauchi after his arraignment by the Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Alhassan Aminu.
The cleric spent seven days in correctional custody due to stringent bail conditions of N1 million and three credible sureties in the like sum which include a district head, a serving permanent secretary with the Bauchi State Government, and a renowned Islamic scholar in the state.
The Imam was released after varying the bail conditions to two businessmen and two renowned Islamic scholars by the state high court.
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When the case was mentioned yesterday, the defendant was absent.
The Solicitor General of the State Aliyu Ibn Idris who appeared for the Ministry of Justice while speaking with journalists said that the case was transferred from the magistrates’ court to the Upper Sharia Court.
“But unfortunately the defendant could not come to court and they have filled a notice of preliminary objections challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
“We have argued that their client should first appear in court before moving their motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court. So, we applied for a bench warrant to be issued against him since he (Imam) has refused to come to court and the court ruled in that favour,” Ibn Idris said.
On his part, counsel to the defendant, Sadiq Abubakar Illelah, said his client was absent because he was sick.
“We pleaded with the court to give him another grace because this is the first time the matter is coming up, we promised to produce our client before the court at the adjourned date when the case resumed.
“But the plaintiff objected saying that he disobeyed the order of the court, he disrespected the summons of the court by refusing to be in court,” Illelah said.
The case has been adjourned till Monday for further mention.