The Upper Shariah Court of Appeal No. 1 sitting in Bauchi metropolis, has issued a bench warrant against the Dutsen-Tanshi Jumma’at Mosque Imam, Dr Idris Abdul’aziz, following his failure to appear before the court.
Dr Abdul’aziz is standing trial before the court for alleged incitement of public disturbance and blasphemy, following a petition against him to the Police alleging that the Islamic cleric in one of his last Ramadan Tafsir sessions made blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and some notable Dariqa clerics.
In his ruling, the presiding judge of the court, Hussaini Turaki, held that the Imam, who was earlier released on bail, be coerced to appear before him during the next sitting of the court on Monday, June 5, 2023.
He added that the failure of Dr Abdul’aziz to honour the court’s summon served on him amounted to contempt.
However, counsel to the Islamic cleric, Barrister Sadiq Abubakar Ilelah, blamed an undisclosed ailment as being the main reason Dr Abdul’aziz did not appear before the court.
“The Imam was sick, that was why he could not attend the court sitting,” he explained.
Barrister Ilelah, who said they had already filed a motion asking the court to give them another chance to enable his client to appear on the next trial date, added that, “But the judge refused our plea that our client be given another opportunity to appear before the court, arguing that he disrespected summons of the court.”
On his part, the prosecuting counsel, Aliyu Bn Idris, explained that the case was transferred from Magistrate Court 1 to Upper Shariah Court of Appeal 1 to start the case afresh
“Unfortunately, the defendant could not come to court but they have filed a notice of preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court.
“However, we argued that he is supposed to appear before the court before they move their motion.
“We applied for a bench warrant to be issued against him since he has refused to come to court and the court ruled in that favour,” Bn Idris stated.
The case has been adjourned to Monday, June 5, 2023 for mention.