By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Four suspects standing trial for alleged murder of Sunday Joshua, a security guard at the New Trafford Hotels and Suites in Bauchi have tested positive to CoronaVirus.
The four are among the five accused that include the Managing Director of the Hotel, Mr. Innocent Ejeh at the Chief Magistrate Court, Gwallameji in Bauchi metropolis Wednesday.
The hint for COVID-19 texture on the four suspects followed a letter written to the court that the four accused persons namely Abdul-Rasheed Shu’aibu, Jacob Joshua, Joshua Ibrahim, and Timothy Yunusa have tested positive for the disease.
The Trial Magistrate, Safiya Salihu while reading the letter from Bauchi Correctional Service dated 11th June, 2020, said that the accused were confirmed positive for CoronaVirus by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Bauchi.
First Information Report (FIR) presented before the court indicated that the five accused are standing trial for criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide in accordance with section 96 and 221 of the Penal Code Laws of Nigeria.
The prosecution police officer, Sergeant Ayuba had told the court that the accused persons could not be in court due to the reasons stated in the letter from the Correctional Service in Bauchi, and pleaded for an adjustment.
He explained that during the sitting of the court on 5th and 8th June, 2020, the accused persons were ordered to be remanded in correctional centre custody.
The trial magistrate, Safiya Salihu after reading the letter from the Bauchi Correctional Service, adjourned the case to 14th July, 2020 for further mentioning and arraignment.
There was however a mild drama in the court room when the presiding chief magistrate refused to recognize the appearance of a counsel from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for improper dressing, chiding him for not setting example as a learned person.
The chief magistrate gave the counsel the option to either enter his appearance or not recognize his appearance, counsel chose the latter with apologies, but the court did not record his appearance.
It could be recalled that on 25th May, 2020, late Sunday Joshua, a security guard at the New Trafford Hotel and Suites, Gwallameji in Bauchi was accused of stealing a mobile phone, an allegation he denied.
In the process of trying to extract confession from Sunday Joshua, he was allegedly tortured by some of his colleagues on duty, which eventually led to his death.