Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia
The Village Head of Ugya in Toto Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, Mallam Musa Adamu, has been dragged to a Lafia Magistrate Court III for allegedly defrauding his community of its mining license.
Consequently, the complainants accused the village head of martgaging the interest and future of the Ugya community to the Chinese.
The charge was filed before the Chief Magistrate Court III, Mr. Emmanuel Jatau Pursuant to Sections 35, 39 and 88 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Nasarawa State, Legal Notice No. 3 of 2019.
In their particulars, the complainants averred that the defendant, who by virtue of his office as the village head of Ugya forged some documents of transfer/relinquishment and secretly collected from the Chinese Company undisclosed sum of money and relinquished the mining licenses of Ugya Community to the Chinese Company.
“That the said Ugya Community-owned Company is called Ugya Development Company Nigeria Ltd (RC: 35612), otherwise called UDC Ltd. The company was jointly and collectively incorporated by the entire members of Ugya community of Toto Local Government Area, Nasarawa State as part of their holistic community development outfit.
“That the defendant unlawfully used his office/stool as the Village Head of Ugya and without the consent or approval of the said four ruling houses of Ugya Community, secretly issued to the Chinese company, HSHF Overseas Mining Ltd.
When the case came up for mention, counsel to the complainants, Mr. S. K. Sheltu, on sighting that the sole defendant, Mallam Musa Adamu, was absent, drew the attention of the court that it was an anomaly and therefore, the matter could not be mentioned in his absence.
He said: “We urge the court to invoke its inherent powers via Section 344 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Nasarawa State to compel his attendance.”
The complainant’s counsel then urged the court to issue a bench warrant to ensure the defendant is physically present in Court for the case to go on.
In a response, counsel to the defendant, Mr. Dennis Ogaza said he was only standing in for the substantive counsel.
“This is the first time this case is for mention. The law is trite that nobody is above the law. The defendant, having been served, is not before you due to the fact that he is sick and has to see his doctor.”
Ruling on the matter, Jatau adjourned the case to February 3, and consequently ordered the defendant to be in court on the adjourned date.