27th January, 2014
A Nigerian High Court in Igbosere, Lagos Island, on Monday adjourned the murder trial of an ex-police officer, Segun Fabunmi, till 18 February due to the absence of a prosecution witness.
Fabunmi, a former Divisional Police Officer of Pen Cinema, Agege Police Division, is facing charges of murder and attempted murder.
He is accused of shooting to death one Adedamola Daramola in Lagos on 9 January 2012, during the protests against the removal of fuel subsidy.
The accused also allegedly caused grievous bodily harm to Alimi Abubakar, Egbujor Samuel and Chizorba Odoh during the protests.
At the resumed hearing of the case, the prosecuting counsel Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, Director, Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions, apologised for the absence of a witness, one Mr Sunday.
She said that the witness, the Investigating Police Officer, was testifying in a Magistrates’ Court in Ikeja and prayed the court to stand down the case.
Ogungbesan said she would have communicated the development to the court and the defendant’s counsel, Mr George Oguntade (SAN), but she thought the court would have other matters before his arrival.
Oguntade, however, told the court that it was a Monday and no one knew when the witness would get to the court.
He suggested that the matter be adjourned.
Justice Olabisi Akinlade asked Ogungbesan if the witness was the only one she was bringing and the prosecutor said there were two others.
The judge said: “Why bring witnesses one by one? I have given you a whole day and you have not come to court with a witness.
“The same thing happened at the last trial date; I thought you were ready to deal with this case expeditiously”.
Akinlade said it was an insult for the High Court to wait for a witness who had gone to testify at a Magistrates’ Court.
“I can’t continue wasting my dates because I expect you to bring two or more witnesses to court,” she said.
The judge adjourned till 18 February for continuation of trial.