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Nigerianís lawyer concerned with delay of bail hearing

TUMELO MOUWANE
An attorney representing a Nigerian man accused of fraud has expressed dissatisfaction over a delay of his clientís bail hearing. Paul Muzimo registered his concern at the Broadhurst Magistrate Court yesterday, arguing that his client Chukwuma Ezekannagaha should be granted bail.

Ezekannagaha is accused of swindling First National Bank Botswana (FNBB) cash amounting to P2 million.  Muzimo registered his concern after the State prosecutor, Inspector Phale Kgamanyane of Broadhurst Police Station, told the court that they have been served with an application by the defence, informing them about their intention to apply for bail.

The prosecutor said they have made an application for the accused to be remanded in custody.

 “We are in the process of filling responding affidavits but we have a problem with making copies of the addressed. It is a process that requires a lot of time. We would like to know if this court is to hear the matter,” said Kgamanyane. In response, Muzimo said they had filed an urgent bail application and the matter was supposed to be heard on February 17, 2015 but it was not to be as the substantive Magistrate was not available.  “It only comes today that the prosecution wants to file affidavits which is contrary to

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the law,” Muzimo said. Muzimo pleaded with the courts to hear the matter before the end of today (February 24) because the matter of substantive magistrates not being available was an administration problem.

“We seriously need the matter to be heard today, the accused has been in prison for the past 20 days,” said Muzimo.

Magistrate Merafhe Tladi said she understood the frustrations surrounding the accused since he has been remanded for 20 days.  “I want to listen to the matter because of the accused’s liberty but I am not in a position to hear the matter today. I am aware the substantive Magistrate is on leave,” said Tladi.

In an interview with Mmegi afterwards, Muzimo expressed dissatisfaction, noting “the matter has since been moved from one Magistrate to the other. 

Last week’s adjournment was made by Magistrate Taboka Slave and today it has yet been postponed by Magistrate Merafhe Tladi”. The matter will resume before the Broadhurst Magistrate Court on February 27, 2015.



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