A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has summoned the Heads of the Old and New Keffi Correctional Centres, Simon Kagama and Alao Moses, to appear before him, to account for the whereabouts of a suspect, Suleiman Mohammed, who was allegedly involved in the murder and robbery of Mr. Gabriel Adukwu.
Although the “disappearing” suspect was charged before the court for being in possession of the vehicle belonging to Mr. Adukwu, after he was killed, he has also been fingered by the family of the deceased as the main organiser of the robbery and murder.
The Nigerian Lawyer reports that Justice Kayode Agunloye, who issued the summons, further ordered that the Record Officer at the Keffi Correctional Centre, and the Prison Warden, who brought the suspect to court on the last day before he “disappeared”, Abdulahi Yunusa, also appear before him to account for his whereabouts.
When the matter came up on November 29, 2022, counsel to the suspect could not account for the whereabouts of his client as he said the correctional centre did not hand him over to him, having been granted bail a day earlier.
In his reaction, counsel for the family, Barrister Abba Ejembi, raised concerns over how, after leaving the court with the prison warden (Abdulahi Yunusa) back to the correctional centre, they would not be able to account for him.
He said he was circumspect of this new development, where the suspect is missing when a co-suspect in the murder and robbery of Mr. Adukwu had also reportedly escaped from police detention in Benue State.
Reacting to the development, Justice Agunloye summoned two officials of the correctional services, which include the Controller, Mr. Alao Moses and the prison Warden, Mr. Abdulahi Yunusa, to appear on December 16, 2022 to account for the suspects whereabouts.
However, when the matter came up, there was still no clarity on the whereabouts of the suspect whom they said had been discharged from their facility, based on the court’s warrant granting him bail.
The visibly concerned judge decried the situation, saying “how can you not know his whereabouts? Why did you not release him to his lawyer?
“This is a case that touches on the sanctity of the life of an individual, and I will not sit here and simply strike out the case because the suspect is missing and has not come before me. I must get to the bottom of it. We must resolve this and establish the suspect’s whereabouts for him to stand trial,” Justice Agunloye held.