Senator's absence delays arraignment due to illness

Senator’s absence delays arraignment due to illness

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By Akinsuroju Olubunmi

Senator’s absence delays arraignment due to illness

Senator's absence delays arraignment due to illness

The arraignment of Senator Benson Konbowei, representing Bayelsa Central, was postponed on Monday as he was unable to appear in court due to health reasons. The Inspector General of Police had brought forth charges of forgery against the senator, alleging the falsification of a National Youth Service Corps exemption certificate.


In a suit marked CR/028/2023, the senator faced three charges related to the forgery, including the creation of a fraudulent ‘Certificate of Exemption’ dated July 4, 2008, with number 000256454. The police cited violations of Sections 366, 156, and 158 of the Penal Code Act CAP 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.


During proceedings at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Senator Konbowei’s counsel, Gordy Uche (SAN), presented a medical report confirming his client’s indisposition and inability to attend court. Uche requested an adjournment and assured the court of the senator’s presence at the next hearing.


However, the Attorney General’s counsel, Egwuaba Reuben, contested the legitimacy of the medical report, alleging that the senator was deliberately avoiding trial. Reuben requested a bench arrest warrant for the senator, citing recent interactions where the senator expressed willingness for the police to proceed with the case.


Justice Christopher Oba, the trial judge, overruled Reuben’s objection and accepted the medical report. However, he instructed that the hospital name be provided for verification purposes. The judge adjourned the proceedings until March 26 and 28 for arraignment and trial commencement, warning of case dismissal if witnesses are not presented.


Additionally, there was a brief dispute over legal representation, with Egwuaba and Eyinsan Lawrence both laying claim to prosecution counsel roles. Despite Lawrence’s objections, Justice Oba recognized Egwuaba’s representation, emphasizing the Attorney General’s authority in legal matters.


Senator’s absence,

Senator’s Arraignment,


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