Kano Court Delivers Judgment on Murder Charges against House of Reps Leader, Doguwa
The Federal High Court in Kano has ruled that the charges of culpable homicide, criminal conspiracy, and other related charges against Alhassan Ado Doguwa, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, are unconstitutional.
The court’s presiding Justice Mohammad Yunusa issued the verdict on Monday.
He asserted that the Chief Magistrate Court lacked the authority to hear charges of criminal conspiracy.
In addition, Justice Yunusa cited section 251(1), which grants exclusive jurisdiction to the Federal court to hear cases involving firearms, such as those against Doguwa.
While Doguwa’s release on bail did not exempt him from trial, Justice Yunusa emphasised the importance of following proper procedure.
Doguwa’s attorney, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Nureini Jimoh, filed a motion seeking to enforce his client’s constitutional rights and challenging the lower court’s unlawful detention.
The affidavit submitted by Doguwa’s legal team argued that his detention by the police violated his constitutional and other legal charter rights to liberty and freedom.
The prosecutor’s attorney, AB Saleh, was dissatisfied with the court’s decision to release Doguwa and questioned the Federal High Court’s authority to issue such orders, alleging a gross abuse of the judicial system.
In his opinion, Justice Yunusa emphasised that citizens have the right, under section 46(1) of the 1999 constitution, to challenge attempts or violations of their fundamental rights before any high court.
Justice Yunusa clarified that both the state and federal high courts have concurrent jurisdiction over such matters, notwithstanding the provision of the law that specifies the state high court as the venue for challenging violations of fundamental rights.
Justice Yunusa added that Doguwa should not have been remanded in a correctional facility without being arraigned and properly charged, thereby discrediting the police’s argument regarding holding charges before the lower court, as the constitution does not permit it.
As a result, the court granted a request prohibiting the police from arresting, harassing, detaining, or taking further action against Doguwa.