A federal court in Lagos Tuesday, October 27,2020, struck out charges of homosexuality filed against 47 persons in November last year including popular cross-dresser, James Brown.
The judge, Rilwan Aikawa said the charges against the defendants lacked “diligent prosecution” by the police.
According to him, J.I Ebhoremen, the prosecuting counsel, was, for the umpteenth time, absent from court and gave no reasonable explanation.
The defence counsel, Israel Usman, had noted that it was the ninth time
Mr Ebhoremen did not show up in court since the case started in 2019.
He pointed the judge’s attention to Section 356(5) of the Administration of Criminal
Justice Act, 2015 which provided a maximum of five adjournments at the
instance of the prosecution in a criminal trial.
In his ruling, Mr Aikawa held,
“I agree entirely with defendants’ counsel that the prosecution’s attitude to this case is not satisfactory.
In my view, this should not be. If the prosecution has a cogent reason not to be in court, he should have communicated in writing to the court and copy the defence counsel.
For whatever reason, the prosecution is no more capable or not willing to prosecute this case. Consequently, this case is struck out due to lack of diligent prosecution.”
Recall that in August 2018, armed police officers stormed a hotel in Egbeda, a suburb of Lagos, at around 2 a.m.
See video of James Brown speaking during the arrest below: