Murder Charges Against Reps Leader, Doguwa Unconstitutional, Court Declares

Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, had criminal conspiracy accusations and culpable homicide allegations against him dismissed by a federal high court in Kano.

On Monday, Justice Mohammad Yunusa, the court’s presiding judge, also announced that he had the authority to hear the ex parte application for N500 million bail made by the troubled majority leader of the House of Representatives.

Justice Yunusa ruled that the Chief Magistrate Court lacked the authority to hear any case involving a criminal conspiracy after hearing Doguwa’s petition on notice challenging his fundamental rights and the lower court’s unconstitutional detention.

Justice Yunusa further referenced section 251 (1), which gave the Federal court sole authority to handle a lawsuit involving guns as it was

Justice Yunusa equally cited section 251 (1) which exclusively granted the Federal court jurisdiction to hear a case on firearms as contained in the charges filed against Doguwa.

Although the judge emphasized that granting Doguwa bail was not meant to prevent him from trial, Justice Yunusa insisted that due process must be followed.

In an affidavit submitted before the court, Doguwa through his attorney, Nureini Jimoh, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, sought the enforcement of the fundamental rights of his client as guaranteed by the constitution and other lawful charters.

The Senior lawyer claimed that Doguwa was detained by the police unlawfully and against his right to liberty and freedom as allowed under several provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended. As contained in the affidavits, the applicant’s lawyer had insisted the incarceration of his client by the Chief Magistrate was null and void and unconstitutional because a lower court lacks the competence to trial criminal charges.

Dissatisfied with the order of the court setting Doguwa free, the prosecution counsel AB Saleh had queried the jurisdiction of the Federal high court to exercise the orders, insisting the action of Justice Yunusa amounted to gross abuse of court process.

The prosecution, in his 26 paragraphs counter-affidavits, maintained that police possess a statutory duty to investigate any related case on a criminal conspiracy for any period of time adding that such action does not constitute any infringement of the fundamental right of the citizen.

In his Judgement, Justice Yunusa declared that citizens reserved the right under the provisions of section 46 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended to approach any high court to challenge an attempt or breach of his or her fundamental right.

Although Justice Yunusa acknowledged the legal provisions that designated the state high court as the venue for challenging violations of fundamental rights, he also revealed that both the state and federal high courts had concurrent jurisdiction over cases involving fundamental rights.

Doguwa wasn’t properly charged or arraigned, according to Justice Yunusa, who also noted that the police’s justification for putting the case before the lower court was in violation of the law and that Doguwa shouldn’t have been held in custody in the first place.

As a result, the court approved the application prohibiting the police from detaining, harassing, or arresting Doguwa or taking any other action.