Court to Jail Flag-Amachree If He Fails to Appear for Trial

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Davidson Iriekpen

A Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has ordered that the sacked Rivers State factional Chairman of the state All Progressives Congress (APC), Ojukaye Flag-Amachree, will be tried and convicted in absentia if he fails to appear for trial on March 28 and is found guilty.

Flag-Amachree, who was recently sacked by the Supreme Court as Rivers State APC Chairman, is standing trial for the murder of two persons.

He was granted bail by a special panel of the Court of Appeal on health grounds.

Since then, he has continued to evade trial, while playing key roles in the factionalised Rivers State APC.

But after listening to the state counsel, DG Adeyemi, and H. Okwukwu, for the defendant, the trial judge, Justice Chinwendu Nwogu, ordered that if the defendant fails to appear for trial on March 28, he would be tried and convicted in absentia if found guilty.

He submitted that it is allowed in law pursuant to Section 273 (a) , 165 (c) (d) , 195 and 359 (4) of the Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2015.

The court directed that the order be pasted in a conspicuous part in the open court in the High Court Complex and advertised in two national newspapers.

Justice Nwogu ruled: “That this order of court shall be pasted in a conspicuous part in the open court in the High Court Complex, Port Harcourt, and shall also be published in at least two national daily newspapers prior to the commencement of the defendant/respondent’s trial in absentia pursuant to Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 359(4) of the Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2015.

“That this order of court shall be pasted in a conspicuous part in the open court in the High Court Complex, Port Harcourt, and shall also be published in at least two national daily newspapers, 30 days prior to the next adjourned date”

The court added: “That copies of the national daily newspapers wherein the order of court is published shall be deposited with the registry of this court before the next adjourned date.”