Former president of the Nigerian Senate, Adolphus Wabara and two others have been discharged and acquitted by a high court in Abuja on allegations of bribe for budget levelled against them by the federal government.
The two others freed, 14 years after the charges were filed, are former senators, Ibrahim Abdulazeez and John Azuta Mbata.
Two other defendants who were listed in the matter, Garba Matazu, a former house of reps member, and Fabian Osuji, minister of education, at the time were not present in the court,
The suit had been filed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).
Justice S.E Aladetoyinbo, in his ruling, said the case lacks witnesses to prosecute the charge, discharging the defendants under section 355 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
Following the failure of the prosecutor to produce witnesses, counsels to the defendants had urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendants under Section 355 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
It states, “Where a complainant at any time before a final order is made in a case satisfies the court that there are sufficient grounds for permitting him to withdraw his complaint, the court may permit him to withdraw the complaint and shall thereupon acquit the defendant.”
The judge agreed and held, “Since the prosecutor claimed that the witnesses are no more available and this matter had been pending since 2005, the court will grant the request of defence counsel. The three Defendants are hereby discharged and acquitted under Section 355 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.”