A defamation case instituted by the senator representing Ogun East at the National Assembly, Buruji Kashamu, against a member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Ogun State, Deji Babington Ashaye, was in Wednesday stalled due to lack of evidence.
Counsel to the accused person, Emmanuel Emili, complained that the prosecution was yet to furnish him with the evidence.
The prosecutor, Inspector Sunday Eigbejiale, told Magistrate Oriyomi Sofowora of Abeokuta Magistrate Court 1, sitting in Isabo, that a copy of the evidence was not ready and would be made available in due course.
Emili, who told the court that he was ready to go on with the case, explained that justice was not for the complainant alone, but that the accused person also had a right to fair hearing.
According to him, having the evidence would allow the accused person to respond properly and adequately to all issues raised.
Magistrate Sofowora however adjourned the case till June 3.
Emili had earlier applied for the discontinuation of the case on the ground that Kashamu had failed to attend the sittings as ordered by the court.
Emili said: “For the fourth consecutive time, the complainant is not in court, despite the stern warning by the court. We are here today and he’s not here again.
“He had come to the court to get justice, yet, he is not in court. The case should be struck out and if he is ready for the matter, he should come back and do the case.”
Sofowora turned down the application on the ground that it would be unfair for the case to be struck out, since a witness in the matter and the accused person were in court.
She maintained that the fact that the original complainant wasn’t in court doesn’t mean that the case had been abandoned.
Speaking after the sitting, a witness in the matter, who is also the Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, to the Kashamu, Austine Oniyokor, explained that his principal had to fly a private jet to attend the case in the last adjourned date but that the matter had been before his arrival.
He explained that Kashamu was ready to withdraw the case if the accused person would show remorse and apologise.
A factional Chairman of the party in the state, Sikirullahi Ogundele, who was also in court described the action of Kashamu as a show of power, condemnable and needless.
He however assured that the leadership of the party would intervene to ensure that the matter was settled out of court.
Ashaye was on April 13, 2016, arraigned on one count charge for allegedly calling Kashamu a drug baron and criminal senator on a social media platform of the party.