A former wife of Mallam Mohammed Bello Masaba, the man who marries 86 wives, Azatu Adamu, has sued the polygamist for assault and attack. In the suit she filed before a magistrate court II in Bida, Niger State, she alleged that Mashaba and 15 other persons were involved in the attack.
Consequently, the court ordered the police area command in Bida to investigate her claim that on August 4, 2013, Mallam Masaba and 15 other persons beat her up with electric cables which caused her and her baby serious injuries.
Masaba was arraigned with the other accused persons before the court on Thursday on a two-count charge of criminal assault and causing grievous hurt on the victim in contravention of sections 246 and 265 of the Penal Code.
Earlier, the defence counsel, Olu Oluwole, had challenged the jurisdiction of the court on the grounds that it would be biased against his client because there was a civil case before a Bida high court against his client which involved a relation of the husband of the presiding magistrate.
"My client will not get justice in this court. I want you to disqualify yourself from this case on the ground that a civil case against my client filed before a Bida High Court involves a brother to your husband. Justice will not be given to my client as a result of this reason. There is a likelihood of bias in this court against my client," he said.
On August 28, Oluwole raised the same grouse, which made presiding magistrate Hajiya Sa'adatu Abubakar Gambo adjourn the matter to last Thursday.
At the resumed sitting, she ruled that the defence counsel had failed to prove the issues raised in the application challenging the competence of the court and the likelihood of her being biased.
She therefore ruled that the court was competent to hear the case and assured that it would not favour anybody in the dispensation of justice. "No right-thinking person will contemplate the probability of this honourable court favouring unfairly Azatu Adamu (the complaint) or the other party (Bello Masaba)," she stated. "It is now obvious that in the light of all the authorities cited that the applicant before this court seeking disqualification of this court on a likelihood of bias is baseless, mere suspicious of unreasonable people to build on vague, trivial and frivolous issues without merit in the application."
Magistrate Gambo therefore ruled that the court would assume jurisdiction on the criminal case against the 16 persons and adjoined the case to October 30, 2013, for further hearing.