The trial of the Eze Ndigbo of Ajao Estate, Lagos, Frederick Nwajagu, for alleged terrorism, was stalled on Tuesday at the Lagos State High Court, Tafawa Balewa Square.
Justice Yetunde Adesanya adjourned the case till July 5 due to the absence of defence counsel.
The Department of State Services had on April 1 arrested Nwajagu, following a viral video in which he was seen threatening to invite the South-East separatist Indigenous People of Biafra to Lagos.
“IPOB, we will invite them. They have no job. IPOB will protect all of our shops. And we have to pay them. We have to mobilise for that.
“We have to do that. We must have our security so that they will stop attacking us at midnight, in the morning, and in the afternoon,” Nwajagu was captured as saying.
Following his arrest, he was arraigned on May 9, on nine counts, bordering on “an attempt to commit acts of terrorism, participating in terrorism and meeting to support a proscribed entity, attempt to finance an act of terrorism, and preparation to commit an act of terrorism.”
The prosecution counsel, Jonathan Ogunsanya, told the court that the offences contravened Section 403(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015; as well as sections 12(a)(c), 18, 21 and 29 of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, 2022.
But on reading the charges to him, Nwajagu pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday, the prosecution counsel announced his appearance but the defence counsel was nowhere to be found.
When asked by the court about his counsel, Nwajagu told the judge he was surprised his counsel was absent, because the lawyer had promised that if he was unable to make it to court, he would send a junior counsel.