The Upper Shari’a Court 2, Nagogo Road, GRA, Katsina, on Wednesday, issued a bench warrant to arrest Mahdi Shehu and compel him to appear before it.
The order followed Shehu’s failure to appear before the court for the continuation of hearing in the suit filed by Dr Mustapha Inuwa against him for alleged insults and defamation of character.
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Secretary to the Katsina state government, Dr Inuwa, was also in court to seek redress over alleged defamation of character by Mahdi Shehu, relying on Section 188 of Sharia Penal Code of Katsina State.
At the hearing, however, neither Mahdi nor his counsel was in court as they did not make any formal communication in form of a letter or otherwise explaining their reasons for being absent, thereby disregarding the court’s order issued on December 16, 2020.
Addressing the court, counsel to the complainant, Barrister A.S. Ibrahim, prayed that the court continue with the hearing in the absence of the defendant since he was duly served with the order to appear relying on some authorities.
He also prayed that the court ordered for the arrest of the accused person for his failure to appear which he said amounted to disregard to the order of the court.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Sagir Said Imam, granted the prayers and issued a bench warrant for the arrest of the accused person and adjourned the matter to January 13, 2021 for the continuation of hearing.
It will be recalled that the case was filed by the Secretary to the Government of Katsina State, Dr Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa, alleging that Mahadi had defamed him through videos he had circulated in violation of Section 188 of the Penal Code and the Katsina State Penal Code (SPC).
At the last court hearing on December 15, the court dismissed a complaint filed by Mahdi’s lawyers alleging that he was served the summon at the Abuja police headquarters instead of one of his residences in Kaduna.