13th January, 2014
Justice Olabisi Akinlade, the Judge presiding over the trial of suspected killers of Cynthia Osokogu who was murdered by her facebook friends, has accused the defense lawyers for deliberately stalling the trial.
The Judge said that the actions of the defence lawyers, Miss Mosunmola Oladapo and Mr Michael Ajayi in not filing their written addresses in the ongoing trial-within-trial, is affecting the progress of the trial.
Both lawyers are representing Okwumo Nwabufo, Olisaeloka Ezike, Orji Osita and Ezike Nonso who were charged with the murder of Cynthia in 2012.
The defendants were alleged to have chained and strangled the 25-year-old Osokogu to death at Cosmilla Hotel, FESTAC Town, Lagos, on July 22, 2012.
Other counts preferred against them include felony, conspiracy, robbery and murder.
At the last hearing, the first and second defendants accused the police of obtaining statements from them under duress.
The allegation prompted the judge to order for a trial-within trial, to ascertain the authenticity of their statements to the police.
At the resumed hearing of the trial today, counsel to the two defendants told the court that they had not been able to file their written address because they couldn’t obtain the record of court proceedings.
Their excuses angered the judge who accused them of deliberately trying to stall the trial.
The judge also accused the counsel of not showing willingness to pursue the trial speedily.
“I followed up with the registrar to make sure that the record of court proceedings is ready but you didn’t show up to collect it,” she said.
Akinlade also blasted the counsels for not taking into consideration the fact that their clients are in prison custody.
She subsequently ordered that the written addresses be filed and served on the prosecution in the next ten days while every other response be done in two weeks.
She subsequently adjourned the case to February 27, 2014 for adoption of written address.