The former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh on Wednesday challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Abuja to try him on the alleged 10 count charges he is being prosecuted for.
Badeh made this known through his counsel, Samuel Zibiri, who informed the court that it has filed a petition contending the court’s jurisdiction to try Badeh on the charges levelled against him.
Zibiri while urging the court to address the filed petition before commencing the trial said, “The law is clear on the issue of jurisdiction, whenever raised; that application must be first taken and disposed of.”
Counsel to the prosecution, Rotimi Jacobs, in his objection argued that the defence was trying to frustrate the trial by challenging the validity of the charge.
Quoting Section 392 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, Jacobs urged the court to reject the motion.
Jacobs said, “Section 392 of the ACJ says the defence can file motion contending the jurisdiction of the court, but the Judge shall not entertain it and it cannot stop the trial.”
Zibiri while contending with the prosecutions submission argued that the position of the defendant was in line with his constitutional right which allows him to defend himself.
The defence counsel in line with section 396 urged the court to hear the motion stating that, “hearing it means the court is hearing the case in general.”
Zibiri also informed the court that charges from count one to ten were misleading.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Okon Abang held that “In Accordance with Section 396 of ACJA, the motion can only be heard at the end of the proceedings.
Trial about to commence.