The absence of Magistrate Guda Haruna-Audu of a Kano Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday stalled the trial of 2,000 wheat farmers alleged to have defaulted in the repayment of over N270 million loan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Kano State sued the farmers before the court sitting in Gyadi-Gyadi.
The defendants are among farmers who benefitted from a loan facility in the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 wheat farming seasons.
Mr Haruna-Audu was delivered of a baby and unavailable for work, thus, the case could not go on.
Muktar Bello, counsel to AFAN, told reporters covering the case that it had been adjourned until August 16 for continuation of hearing.
He said that the defendants would meet with the leadership of AFAN with a view to reaching an agreement on how they could repay the loan, pending the resumption of the magistrate from maternity leave.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state chapter of AFAN sued the farmers in May.
The court had ordered the arrest of 1,974 out of the 2,000 farmers who refused to acknowledge the court summons.
When contacted, the AFAN Chairman in the state, Faruk Rabi’u, said that the association would look into the possibility of having the case transferred to another court to prevent delay.
NAN reports that Mr Rabi’u is also the state Chairman of the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria.
PREMIUM TIMES had last month reported how unremitted loans and other hitches were affecting the federal government’s own agriculture programme.