You Must Face Trial: Supreme Court Orders Mohammed Abacha

The Supreme court of Nigeria in a unanimous decision Friday morning ordered Mohammed Abacha, son of late former Head of state, General Sani Abacha, to return to an Abuja High Court and face his trial on a 123 count criminal charge brought against him by the Federal Government of Nigeria wherein he was alleged to be in possession of stolen properties belonging to the Federal Government.
The theft was allegedly committed by the late former dictator, when he ruled Nigeria between November 17, 1993 and June 8, 1998.
Mohammed had attempted to foil his trial but was unsuccessful at the trial court before he proceeded to the Court of Appeal where he lost. Then he approached the Supreme Court.
He argued that the immunity enjoyed by his father while in office should be extended to him and that having forfeited some of the family’s properties confiscated by the government; he should be exempted from prosecution in line with the provisions of Decree number 53 of 1999.
The apex court held that immunity does not extend beyond the tenure of office and that even if the late head of state was alive, he can be prosecuted for a criminal offence not to talk of his son who was never an occupant of the office of the Head of state.
The court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal which held that the late former head of state’s immunity does not extend to his son and ordered Muhammed to go and face his trial at the Abuja court

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