A Gudu Upper Area Court, Abuja, on Thursday struck out a rape case preferred against one Charles Adam, 30, for lack of diligent prosecution.
The judge, Umar Kagarko, struck out the case and discharged the defendant, after listening to the submission of the defence counsel, Gilbert Okoh.
Mr. Okoh had earlier prayed the court to strike out the case, as the prosecution had shown enough sign of lack of interest in it.
Citing relevant sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, Mr. Okoh said the case had suffered many adjournments at the instance of the prosecution.
He said that while both the complainant and the prosecution were aware of the adjourned date for hearing, the prosecution and his witnesses were absent without any reason.
“There is no information or letter explaining their absence.
“It is against public policy to hang an accusation on the neck of a citizen and keep him perpetually bound in court.
“Besides, the court is not a dumping ground of cases,” Mr. Okoh said.
He urged the judge to strike out the case and discharge his client, who, he said, had been appearing voluntarily in court.
“In considering the number of adjournments this case has suffered, it can be seen that the non-appearance of prosecution has offended sections of the constitution,” he said.
Mr. Adam, of Adamawa Street, Chika, Airport Road, was first arraigned on July 18, 2016, on a one-count charge of rape.
He had pleaded not guilty.