Written by By Abdulrahman Tonga
Thursday, 10 June 2010
The Kaduna State police command has been ordered by a judge to arrest the Director-General of the Kano State Censorship Board, Malam Abubakar Rabo Abdulkarim, for his failure to appear before it on two occasions.
The judge, Alhaji Nasiru Idris Lere of Magistrate Court 1 in Kaduna, gave the order for Rabo’s immediate arrest by the police.
Rabo was billed to appear in person in the court after five members of the Kaduna State Filmmakers Association sued him for criminal defamation.
He was reported to have claimed in a live television interview in Kaduna that Hausa moviemakers were now engaged in the production of pornographic films and that the people of Kaduna State should rise against them.
He reportedly claimed to have bought a copy of such pornographic movies in the Unguwar Sarki area of Kaduna metropolis.
When the case opened in court last week, the Kano chief censor failed to appear, citing ill-health. His counsel sought a postponement, a plea to which the filmmakers' counsel, A.S. Suleiman, did not object.
During yesterday’s hearing, counsel to Rabo, Mr. Gabriel Didam, told the court that his client could not appear in court in person as a result of insecurity in the state, adding that his client was also sick. He, however, apologized to the court on behalf of his client.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Malam Sadau Garba, appealed to the court to issue a bench warrant against Rabo, pointing out that this was the second sitting in which he was not in the court. According to the lawyer, information reaching him was that the accused was determined never to come to the court.
“Justice has to be done,” he said. “The accused person had complained that he was sick, but no written document had been produced. And information reaching us is that the accused is bragging that he will never be present throughout the case and that nothing will happen. We therefore apply that this honorable court issue a arrest warrant to make him appear and take any alternative measures to bring him to the court”.
When ruling on the request, the judge said, “The accused person did not follow the proper way to channel his complaint to the court, a behaviour which may leave the other party to feel they are not treated equally.
“I will not believe him that there is insecurity in Kaduna. It’s an excuse by the accused person. And he has to tell us the names of those that thinks are after him so that court will stop them from coming to its premises.
“Since the inception of the case he has been complaining frequently, but the accused never did in the formal way. Under the section 153 of the CPC, the accused has to be in court. I am left with no option than to order his arrest under section 70 / 1A / B by the Commissioner of Police, Kaduna State.”
Hearing in the suit was adjourned till June 16, 2010.
This is sequel to the story published on June 2