The absence of the chief magistrate on Wednesday stalled the arraignment of suspects in the alleged torture and sexual molestation of an 11-year-old pupil Don-Davies Archibong of Deeper Life High School, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
Five of the school’s staff and two students were to be arraigned at the magistrate court along Ikot Ekpene road.
The police had also planned to arraign a retired medical doctor Effiong Udimidue, 74, believed to a member of the school’s management committee.
Mother of the alleged victim Deborah Archibong had accused Udimidue of sneaking into the medical facility where her son was to take his blood samples without official authorisation.
Udimidue was subsequently arrested and detained by the police but released Wednesday morning.
Speaking with the news media, counsel to the school Fidelis Igwe said: “The police brought about seven persons here. Five of them are staff and two are students and they are both minors.
“They (suspects) were not arraigned because we were informed that the Chief magistrate was not around and she will be around tomorrow (Thursday) being the only one that could handle the matter.”
Mr Igwe accused the police of keeping his clients in the dark as to the result of their investigation only for them to be taken to court for arraignment.
But the claimant’s lawyer David Okokon defended the magistrate over his absence.