Abuja Pastor Wielding AK-47 Inside Church Seeks Judicial Review Of His Trial

March 19, 2024
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pastor

Uche Aigbe, the Presiding Pastor of the House on the Rock in Abuja, has approached the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court to request a judicial review of his trial.

Recall that Aigbe was arraigned before an FCT Magistrates Court for carrying an AK-47 rifle during a Sunday church service in February 2023, where he used it as a prop to illustrate his sermon on “Guarding your faith.”

Alongside Aigbe, Olakunle Ogunleye and Promise Ukachukwu were also charged with possessing a prohibited firearm (AK-47 rifle), inciting disturbance, and aiding in the illegal possession of a firearm.

The arraignment took place before Senior Magistrate Mohammed Ismail at Zuba, Abuja.

Aigbe’s specific violation was stated as contravening Section 3 of the Firearms Act, Cap F28 Law of the Federation.

During the proceedings at the FCT High Court on Monday, the defendant’s counsel, P.H. Ogbole, SAN, informed the court about their filed motion on notice.

This motion seeks a judicial review of the proceedings that took place at the lower court. P.H. Ogbole emphasized that the issue of jurisdiction was raised and urged the court to grant their requests.

The lawyer alleged in the motion, which is marked M/13706/2023, that the magistrates’ court violated their fundamental rights to a fair hearing during one of its proceedings.

He said, “The proceedings of March 28, 2023, at the Zuba Magistrate’s Court, wherein the magistrate descended into the arena of conflict is wrongful, in a clear misapplication of the law and a violation of their fundamental right to a fair hearing.”

He further sought a declaration, among others, ”That the proceedings of June 19, 2023, at the Magistrate’s Court in the trial of the applicants wherein the magistrate admitted a compact disc as an exhibit without viewing the content of the exhibit in the open court is wrongful, in clear misapplication of the law and a violation of their fundamental right to fair hearing.”

The attorney asserted that the request was made in accordance with Section 227(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); Sections 19 and 33 of the FCT High Court Act Cap 510 LFN 2007; Order 44 Rule 1 of the FCT High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2018.

On the other hand, the lawyer representing the commissioner of police, Inah Umoh, implored the court to reject the petition.

He requested the court to permit the lower court to proceed with the case.

“The essence of a judicial review is to show that the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction.

“In this case, Section 27(4) and (5) give jurisdiction to the court to try such offence summarily,” he added.

However, Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, after listening to the submissions of both counsel in the matter, fixed May 15 for ruling on the application.

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