Defendant in armed robbery case asks court to reopen trial

Ogunsakin Mustapha
3 Min Read

Olalekan Awojodu


An FCT High Court sitting in Nyanya Wednesday, fixed Sept. 30, for ruling in a motion by an armed robbery suspected armed robbery defendant currently on trial who seeks the leave of court to reopen his defence and recall witnesses.

James Ejeh, the first defendant in the matter made the request before the presiding Judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke.

The Judge fixed the date after the first defendant (Ejeh)’s counsel, Prof. Agbo Madaki, brought a motion for reopening of his defence and recalling prosecution’s witnesses.

The duo of Ejeh and Simon Abraham, now dismissed officers, were arraigned by the police on a two-count charge bordering on conspiracy and armed robbery. The police alleged that the duo armed themselves with guns and robbed one Christy Maker of her car and belongings on Airport Road, Abuja on Jan. 17, 2017.

Both the prosecution and defence teams had closed their cases before the application.
Madaki, however, sought the order of the court granting him leave to reopen his defence and also recall prosecution’s witnesses one, two, three and four.

He argued that an application by a party to recall a witness who had already given evidence should succeed where the interest of justice required it.

Citing Section 256 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, he held, “It is also a matter of procedure that the party applying to recall the witness must, among other things, supply sufficient materials relating to why he wants the witness recalled.

“And it is based on it that the trial judge will decide whether or not the justice of the case warrants him to exercise his discretion in his favour,” Madaki submitted.

Reacting, the prosecuting counsel, Kufureabasi Ebong, submitted that Madaki had always conducted his case through the junior lawyers in his office.

“All the prosecution witnesses were examined in chief, re-examined by the defence counsel both in the main trial and trial-within-trial.
“So, we respectfully urge the honourable court to dismiss this application for lacking in merit. This will delay the cause of justice,” Ebong added.

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