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Sherif vs Atiku: Defense fails to produce final witness in court

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  • Matter adjourned to Sept 22 for definite hearing
  • Judge orders witness be produced at next sitting

By Nicholas Kalu, Abuja

As hearing in the case instituted by Maryam Sherif, divorced wife of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, for custody of their children, resumed on Wednesday at the Upper Area Court in Kubwa, Abuja, the defense still failed to produce its final witness.

Abubakar is the son of Nigeria’s former Vice President of the same name.

Sherif, had instituted a case against Abubakar, at the Upper Area Court, Gudu, with number CV/41/2019 which was later transferred to the Upper Area Court, Kubwa, with number CV/16/2020 seeking the court to grant her custody of their three sons.

When the matter resumed on Wednesday, counsel to the defendant, Abdullahi Hassan, who was absent sent one Isah Suleiman, with a letter to the court that he could not make it because he lost an uncle and had to travel for the burial.

Hassan in the letter which was read in court, urged that the matter be adjourned to October 7, 2020.

The defense counsel was to produce the witness in court, which they could not at the previous sitting because they said the witness was out of the country in Dubai.

The plaintiff’s counsel Nasir Saidu urged the court to jettison the letter and allow him address the court on point of law so that judgment can be delivered on the matter.

Saidu sent the letter was ill-motivated and a further plan to delay the matter.

He urged the defense be foreclosed for its failure to produce the witness as was directed in the previous sitting.

He observed that the letter was signed by a clerk who did not have the legal authority to sign such document.

He also observed that it did not contain particular information about the said burial of the uncle capable of convincing the court to adjourn till the requested day.

“If it pleases My Lord upon foreclosing them, I would apply for the court to grant me leave to address the court on the evidences presented by the defendant as my final submission on the matter so that the court can finally dispose of the matter,” Saidu said.

The judge, Bashir Dansule, after taking the submissions declined the defense’ request and adjourned the matter to September 22, 2020 for definite hearing.

He ordered that the defence produce its final witness in court else the request of the plaintiff’s counsel would be granted.

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