A Kaduna Chief Magistrates’ Court, on Tuesday, discharged a 40-year-old herdsman, Mohammed Burtu charged with receiving a stolen cow.
The Magistrate, Ibrahim Emmanuel discharged Burtu for “lack of diligent prosecution’’.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Musa Abdullahi had prayed the court for an adjournment, to enable him present the investigating police officer.
The Magistrate, however, refused the application saying the case had been severally adjourned due to the non-availability of the prosecution witnesses.
Emmanuel reminded the prosecutor that at the last sitting, he promised to produce the witness on the next adjourned date.
“The case has suffered series of adjournments at the instance of the prosecution.
“Every person charged with an offence is considered innocent until conviction.
“It is no longer in the interest of justice to adjourn the matter again, due to the failure of the prosecution to produce its witnesses in court.
“I hereby invoke Section 165 of the Criminal Procedure Code, to strike out the matter and discharge the accused for want of diligent prosecution,” Emmanuel said.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, recalls that on December 12, 2017, one Adamu Yusuf, reported at the Kabala West Police Station on April 17, that one of his cows was stolen from him at gunpoint.
Abudullahi said that on January 12, the complainant went to Sabon Birnin Market in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, and found his stolen cow in the possession of the defendant.
He said that during police investigation, the defendant claimed that he bought the said animal from one Mohammed Isah, now at large, who claimed to be the owner.
The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 278 of the Penal Code of Kaduna State, 2017.
Burtu had pleaded not guilty to the charge.