From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Federal Government has amended criminal charges against Senator Isah Misau, before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting at Maitama, by increasing the counts from five to seven.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) has engaged a private prosecutor to handle the case, on behalf of government.
Misau, who represents Bauchi Central Senatorial District, is facing trial for allegedly making “injurious falsehood” against the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Mr. Ibrahim Idris, and the Nigerian Police Force.
In the said charge marked FCT/HC/CR/345/2017, the FG listed some of the “injurious falsehood” it said the defendant made, to include allegations that police officers paid as much as N2.5million to get special promotion and posting through the Police Service Commission.
The charge was a direct fallout of allegations Misau, who himself is a retired deputy superintendent of police, raised against the IGP.
Misau was charged for alleging that the police boss diverted money meant for the purchase of Armoured Personnel Carriers, Sport Utility Vehicles and other exotic cars. He was said to have falsely accused the IGP of making almost half of mobile police commanders in the country, people of his Nupe extraction.
The lawmaker, aside accusing the IGP of instituting roadblocks accross Nigeria, with the purpose of extorting money from unsuspecting motorists, equally alleged that the police boss had sexual affair with female police officers. Misau further alleged that the IGP collects illegal fees by way of security protections given to corporate organizations, eminent citizens and oil companies running into billions of Naira.
The AGF maintained that the lawmaker had, by his utterances, committed an offence contrary to Section 393(1) of the Penal Code. Meanwhile, at the resumed proceeding on the case, the new prosecutor, Dr. Alex Iziyon (SAN) told the court that the AGF issued him a fiat to handle the trial and, to also apply for a subpoena that was issued to compel the IGP to appear as a witness in the matter to be quashed.
Iziyon insisted that the said subpoena dated November 22, amounted to an abuse of court process, saying it was targeted at embarrassing the IGP.
However, Misau’s lawyer, Dr. Joshua Musa, SAN, challenged the legal validity of the amended charge FG filed against his client. He equally contended that the initial charge upon which his client was docked and granted N5million bail on October 19 was legally defective as it was bereft of the required seal. Musa argued that in the face of such default, the initial charge could not be amended. On the issue of subpoena aganst the IGP, the defence lawyer maintained that no law prohibited his client from applying for the police boss to appear as a witness to give evidence and tender documents in the matter. After he had listened to all the parties, the Chief Judge of the high court, Justice Ishaq Bello, who is presiding over the trial, fixed December 5 to hear all the pending applications. Meantime, the two new allegations against Misau read: “That you Isah Hamman Misau of Hamman Misau Residence, Turaki Street, Misau, Bauchi State on or about 26th August, 2017 at Abuja and other part of Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, did make a false statement of fact to wit: that the Inspector-General of Police is scoring high marks by making almost half of the mobile commanders in the country, people of his Nupe extraction which said false statement of fact was published in the This Day Newspaper and The Punch Newspaper both dated 26th August, 2017, knowing that such false statement of fact would harm the reputation of Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris (the serving Inspector-General of Police) and the Nigeria Police Force and you thereby committed an offence. “That you Isah Hamman Misau of Hamman Misau Residence, Turaki Street, Misau, Bauchi State on or about 26th August, 2017 at Abuja and other part on Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did make a false statement of fact wit: that the incumbent Inspector-General of Police, based on available records, series of petitions and reports from insiders, has no capacity to run the Police just like the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Rtd IGP Mike Okiro, who also lacks similar capacity going N300 million scam and others hanging on his neck since 2011 during the presidential primary election of the People’s Democratic Party where he served as the head of the security committee which said false statement of fact was published in the Thisday Newspaper and the Punch Newspaper both dated 26th August, 2017 knowing that such false statement of fact would harm the reputation of Mr. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris (the serving Inspector-General of Police), Rtd IGP Mike Okiro, the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission and you thereby committed an offence”. (The Sun)