A Civil Rights Activist and former University don, Dr. John Danfulani, has described the mild drama occurring at a Kaduna High presided by Justice Bilkisu Mohammed in the case filed against him by the Elrufai government as judicial terrorism.
Making explanation later, Danfulani said he believes he is being persecuted for his faith and political beliefs.
Danfulani, whose two lawyers had quit from defending him in protest over alleged curious conduct of the Judge, refused to say a word when docked for questioning.
It could be recalled that Dr. John Danfulani had been arrested on the 26th January 2016, arraigned before Chief Magistrate Court 1 Kaduna, Presided by Mallam Awallu Musa in Case No. KDH/KAD/102c/20016 and charged with breeching sections 417 and 418 of the Penal Code. He was accused of posting an insulting post on his Facebook wall against Northerners.
After series of appearances, he was discharged on 9th August 2016.
But on the 26th October 2016, he was re-arrested, arraigned this time at the present court, and subsequently spent 13 days in Kaduna Central Prisons because Justice Bilkisu Mohammed had had to travel for a seminar for that duration and as such, could not attend to his bail application.
On the 5th of February Barrister Yakubu I. Umaru had also said he feared that his client may not get justice from the same court based on the conduct of the Judge and removed himself from the case. In the next appearance, Barrsiter James Kanyip, who stood for Danfulani also left in protest alleging the same fears with Umaru.
When the case came up for continuation of hearing Tuesday, Danfulani told the court, “ I have gone round and no lawyer is ready to take up and defend me before this court”.
However, the State Deputy Director of Prosecution, Isiaka Muhammed told the court that “the case should continue since the defendant was under cross examination when his lawyer withdrew from the case”.
At this point, the High Court Judge, Justice Muhammed asked Dr. Danfulani about his capacity to defend himself at the next adjournment date, but he declined comment.
All other questions thrown at him were by the prosecution and the judge were met with stiff silence. For minutes, the court was eerily tense. Puzzle at the development, the trial judge adjourned the case till May 17, 2018 for the accused to continue his defence in the suit.
Danfulani further said, “I have written a petition to the Chief Judge of Kaduna state, pointing out that I am unlikely to get justice from the present Judge. I pleaded that the case be transferred to another judge. But to my surprise, the case was returned to her.
“If She (Judge) has no interest why can’t she quit or step down and ask another judge to handle the case. All the lawyers I contacted said they cannot defend me in her court.
“This is the first time a judge is refusing to step down even when my first lawyer withdrew from the case. No force on earth can intimidate me because we are not under apartheid regime in Nigeria”.