A Magistrate Court in Abuja has granted an application for stay of proceedings in a case between the Commissioner of Police and the spokesman of the Coalition of United Political Party, CUPP, Ikenga Ugochinyere.
In the application filed by counsel for Ugochinyere, Ezenwa Ibegbunam, the court was urged to allow the matter to continue in the absence of the CUPP spokesperson, who is said to be unavailable due to health issues.
Ezenwa also said that based on existing order of May 3, 2020, made by the Federal High Court Abuja, the complainant in the matter that is the Speaker House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, was enjoined not to take any action pending the hearing of the substantive suit.
The prosecution counsel, Orji Kalu, objected, saying that the matter should not be heard even in the absence of the defendant.
Magistrate Idayat Olaide ruled that she will allow the proceedings take place in the absence of the defendant.
She also held that the Magistrate Court cannot go contrary to the orders of the higher court on any matter, therefore granted the application that excluded the defendant and adjourned the matter sine-die, pending the outcome of the case before the High Court.
Ugochinyere was arraigned on a four-count charge on defamation of character on the person of Speaker of House, Gbajabiamila, which he pleaded not guilty.