The defence counsel in the ongoing trial of five suspected Offa robbery suspects, Barrister Mathias Emeribe, has raised the alarm over life threatening messages he has been receiving from members of the public.
He was however absent at the Tuesday’s hearing of the matter, thereby, by stalling the hearing.
ROYAL NEWS reports that the accused persons standing trial, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran, were all brought to court on Tuesday.
Prosecution counsel, Professor Wahab Egbewole, who had earlier announced the absence of the defence counsel in court on Tuesday, said that Emeribe called and sent text message to him on what he described as “life threatening experience on the road” and suggested adjournment, which the court reluctantly agreed with.
Speaking with journalists after the court sitting, Professor Egbewole said that the defence counsel called him on Sunday and also sent a text message to him on Tuesday that he could not be in court on Tuesday and suggested a date after the national elections.
“This is just to to show on the part of the prosecution that we’ve arranged our witnesses because we have them here from Plateau and Zamfara states, to ensure that the matter proceeds. But here we are”, he said.
The presiding judge, who expressed disappointment over the absence of the defence counsel in court on Tuesday said that the prosecution counsel should have asked for details of the “life threatening experience” of the defence counsel.
“Does it mean that he won’t step out of his room till after the national elections? I can’t fathom this excuse and explanation, for someone to sit in the comfort of his house and be sending text messages. This court is only interested in timely disposition of the matter and any delay could put the court in jeopardy”, she said.
Meanwhile, Justice Halima Saleeman, however adjourned hearing on the matter till March 14 and 15, 2019.
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