Gang-rape: Absence of Defence Counsel Stalls Trial of 5 UNILAG Students

A High Court in Edo on Friday issued a bench warrant for the arrest of a member of the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), Mr. Dumez Ugiagbe.

Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele, gave the order after the lawmaker failed to appear in court to take his plea in a case of alleged forgery and impersonation.

Justice Ovbiaghele adjourned the case until Nov. 8.

NAN reports that the court, on Oct. 25, ordered that Ugiagbe, must appear before it to take his plea.

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Earlier, the defence counsel, Mr. Paul Osarenkhoe, had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the criminal charges against his client.

The counsel also said his client was not properly served.

Osarenkhoe apologised over failure of his client to appear, on grounds of ill-health.

However, the State Counsel, Mr. Peter Ojo, an Assistant Director in the State Ministry of Justice, who had in the last sitting taken over the case on behalf of the Attorney-General of State, urged the court to discountenance the appeal by defence counsel.

He was arraigned in absentia on allegation bothering on forgery and impersonation
Ugiagbe, 45, with one other now at large, were said to have committed the offence around 2001.