The Chediya Chief Magistrates’ Court in Zaria, Kaduna State, has adjourned till July 4, continuation of hearing in the case of 53 accused persons arrested for gay marriage.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the police in Zaria had on April 18 charged the accused persons for conspiracy, unlawful assembly and belonging to a gang of unlawful society.
The offences contravened sections 97, 100 and 197(a) of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
At the proceeding, the prosecutor, Mannir Nasir, told the court that at the last sitting, the accused persons (numbers 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 20, 21, 26 and 54) were in court.
Mr. Nasir then applied for a bench warrant and a separate trial of accused person number 2, 3, 9, 12, 14, 20, 21, 26 and 54 under Section 259 of the criminal procedure code.
The lead counsel to the accused persons, Kimi Appah from TS, a Kaduna-based NGO, argued against the bench warrant.
He, however, did not object to the second application for a separate trial.
The court ruled that counsel to the accused neither gave any point of law nor cogent reason in view of the application by the prosecutor.
“The court hereby granted and summoned the surety to come to the court and show cause why accused persons were not in court.
“The court therefore granted the application by the prosecutor for a separate trial under Section 259 of the CPC,” the court said.
After cross-examining Abdul-Aziz Mohammed, one of the witnesses, Mr. Appah filed an oral application for a definite hearing to facilitate accelerated hearing.
The prosecutor, however, objected to the application, saying most of the witnesses were police officers and may be officially engaged elsewhere.
He then applied for continuation of hearing and asked for another date.
In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Auwal Musa-Aliyu, adjourned the case till July 4, for continuation of hearing.
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