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There was mild drama in a Yola Upper Area Court on Tuesday when the presiding judge, Umar Isa, could not proceed in the case of a raped five-year-old girl, after it was discovered that the case file was missing.

The case was filed by the police against Aliyu Mohammed, a 25-year-old married man, who allegedly raped the victim in Lelewarji Ward in Yola South Local Government Area.

The judge was shocked when the rape case was not mentioned even though he was prepared to deliver judgement.

Mr Isa then directed one of the court clerks to go and bring the file, but the clerk returned saying he could not trace the file.

He also said the Registrar of the court was not around to help locate the file.

Mr Isa then rescheduled the judgement to January 14.

Angry reactions

Some CSOs and women from Lelewarji ward who were in the court for the judgement expressed sadness over the development.

Some said the accused has been on bail and this was the second time the judgement would be adjourned.

“The other time it was shifted because of NBA Week and today the file is nowhere to be found.

“We are here full of hope that our quest for justice for a survivor of rape is here at last only to get this shock,” Nuwama Ishaku, the Human Right Desk Officer of Centre for Women and Adolescent Empowerment, Yola, said.

Farah James, a member of Adamawa Coalition Against Rape, also expressed shock.

She said the coalition would meet over the matter to take a position.

Hadiza Hamidu and Aisha Ahmed who represented women from Lelewarji ward, said they were disturbed with the development and hoped it was not a deliberate attempt by some interested parties to delay or subvert justice.

“We are frightened and disturbed by this development and hope it’s not an attempt to subvert justice,” Ms Ahmed said.

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