Posted by By Tobi Soniyi, Abuja on
Three and a half months after he was granted bail on health grounds, the Founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Dr Frederick Fasehun.....
Three and a half months after he was granted bail on health grounds, the Founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress, Dr Frederick Fasehun, on Monday, joined five other detained leaders of the group to face trial at a Federal High Court, Abuja.
Fasehun was arrested alongside five others last year and were arraigned on December 1, 2005 by the Federal Government on a five-count charge of treason and illegal possession of firearms.
Others facing trial with Fasehun are the factional OPC leader, Mr. Gani Adams; Mr Ajayi Edward Olushola (30), Alhaji Oyinlola Awe(52), Chief Wahab Isiaka (52) and Alhaji Mudashiru Adeniji.
Fasehun was admitted to bail in April by Justice Anwuli Chikere to enable him travel abroad for the review of his open heart surgery in the United States.
While he was abroad, Fasehun‘s absence stalled the trial several times.
At a time, Adams asked for a separate trial to enable him prove his innocence and regain his freedom while Fasehun was away.
All the accused persons are challenging the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to try them. They cited territorial jurisdiction as the reason.
The trial could not go ahead on Monday as the judge refused to take oral submission from the accused persons‘ counsel over the application.
Counsel to the OPC leaders were billed to conclude their arguments on the application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
But the judge suggested that because the legal year was running to an end, it would be better to file written addresses on the application.
The defence counsel, however, opposed the judge on the grounds that they had earlier prayed the court earlier to file written addresses which were rejected by the judge.
He said it was never part of the rules of the court that application must be argued through written submissions.
The judge, however, insisted on written addresses. She gave the defence counsel seven days to file their written submission, while the prosecution was given a separate seven days to reply.
The defence, however, had another three days to respond on points of law to the reply by the prosecution.
The written submissions will be adopted on September 20, when further hearing resumes.
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