It was legal fireworks recently at High Court 2 Owerri during the trial of Pastor Fabian Uzodinma and two others who are facing trial for the alleged kidnapping of an Owerri-based lawyer Barr Stanley Agulanna.
Counsel to the accused persons Chief C.O.C. Ezerebo and Dr. A. N. Aguwa stalled the trial with preliminary objections challenging the validity of the fiat earlier issued by the Attorney-General of Imo State to some private legal practitioners from the Owerri Branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to take over the prosecution of the case.
Leading other applicants for the fiat, the Chairman of NBA Owerri Branch Barr. Stanley Imo and L. U. N. Nwakaeti Esq. opposed the objection citing many legal authorities.
However, the presiding judge Hon. Justice F. I. Duruoha-Igwe adjourned the matter for ruling on the various legal submissions of counsel from both sides to 4th April 2016.
Other persons facing trial in the matter are Mr Akoma Sopuruchi and Romanus Dike Onyekwere.
Many lawyers attended the proceedings probably in solidarity for their missing colleague who was allegedly kidnapped since 2014. Also in attendance were the relations of the accused persons and suspected members of the Bethel Restoration Ministries a religious outfit owned by the embattled cleric.
Speaking to the press after the court session, the Vice Chairman of NBA Owerri Branch who is also the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the branch Barr Fidelis Akponye and the former Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor Imo State Barr Emperor Iwuala thanked their colleagues for trooping out en mass for the trial. They prayed for justice to take its cause in the case.
In her own reaction, the wife of Barr. Agulanna, recounted the trauma she has been subjected as a result of the kidnapping of her husband since 2014. She however, said that she was very optimistic that her spouse would one day come back alive.