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Alleged Possession Of firearm: Absence Of Counsel Stalls Trial Of 3 Clerics



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Abuja – The absence of a defence counsel, Uche Uzukwu , in a Zuba Magistrates’ Court, on Tuesday stalled the trial of three clerics chrged withillegal possession of prohibited firearm.The police charged Uche Aigbe, Promise Ukachukwu and Olakunle Ogunleye withcriminal conspiracy, illegal possession of prohibited firearm, inciting disturbance and criminal intimidation which they pleaded not guilty to.At the resumed trial, the Magistrate,  Abdulaziz Ismail brought to the attention of the court a letter seeking adjournment by Uzukwu.Ismail noted that the adjournment was at the instance of the defence counsel whom was absent due to a matter he had at the Election tribunal.He however adjourned the matter in the interest of justice until May 2 for hearing.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police alleged that the defendants all of House on the Rock Refuge Church,  Wuye, Abuja conspired with an illegal possession of a AK47 rifle on Feb.12.The prosecution counsel, James Idachaba said that the defendants got the firearm from Insp. Musa Audu, attached to Wuye Division, posted on guard duty at the said church.He added that the defendants used the firearm for an illustration while preaching a sermon about faith in the church.The prosecution counsel said the defendants made inciting and intimidating statements to the church congregation that could cause alarm and breach of peace.The offence, he said, is punishable under Section III of the Firearms Act CAP F28, LFN 2004 and contravened Section 97, 114 and 397 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

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