The Oasis Reporters
April 10, 2018
For Rights activist John Danfulani, former lecturer at the Kaduna State University, KASU in Kaduna, mum was the word, because he refused speak at the resumed hearing of the case instituted against him by the El Rufai government in Kaduna that has tried to muscle him out of the University system due to his obvious outspokenness.
It was like a scene out of the usual in the Kaduna courtroom presided over by Justice Bilkisu Mohammed, Tuesday, because Dr. John Danfulani, whose two lawyers had quit from defending him in protest over alleged curious conduct of the Judge, kept his mouth shut when docked for questioning. And it seemed to be for good reason.
Consider for a start, a case where a seemingly intimidated defendant whose two lawyers quit the case one after the other in the belief that they will get no justice from the court.
It would be recalled that Dr. John Danfulani had been arrested on the 26th of January 2016, arraigned before Chief Magistrate Court 1 Kaduna, presided over by Mallam Awallu Musa in Case No. KDH/KAD/102c/20016, charged with breaching sections 417 and 418 of the Penal Code.
He was accused of making an insulting post on his facebook wall against Northerners.
Discharged on the 9th of August 2016, he was re-arrested on the 26th of October 2016, and arraigned at the present court, and subsequently spent thirteen days in the Kaduna Central Prisons because Justice Bilkisu Mohammed had had to travel for a seminar during the period, making her unable to attend to his bail application.
Barrister Yakubu I. Umaru had also said he feared that his client may not get justice from the same court based on the conduct of the Judge and excused himself from the case. Barrister James Kanyip, who stood for Danfulani also left in protest alleging the same fears with Umaru.
When the case came up for continuation of hearing ,Tuesday, Danfulani told the court, “ I have gone round and no lawyer is ready to take up and defend me before this court”.
However, the State Deputy Director of Prosecution, Isiaka Muhammed told the court that “the case should continue since the defendant was under cross examination when his lawyer withdrew from the case”.
At this point, the High Court Judge, Justice Muhammed asked Dr. Danfulani about his capacity to defend himself at the next adjourned date, and he declined further comments.
Puzzled at the development, the trial judge adjourned the case till May 17, 2018 for the accused to continue his defence in the suit.
Speaking in an interview, outside the court, Danfulani said “this is Judicial terrorism. I am being persecuted for being a Christian.
“I have written a petition to the Chief Judge of Kaduna state, pointing out that I am unlikely to get justice from the present Judge. I pleaded that the case be transferred to another judge. But to my surprise, the case was returned to her.
“If she (Judge) has no interest why can’t she quit or step down and ask another judge to handle the case ? All the lawyers I contacted said they cannot defend me in her court.
“This is the first time a judge is refusing to step down even when my first lawyer withdrew from the case. No force on earth can intimidate me because we are not under an apartheid regime in Nigeria”.