The absence of a member of House of Representatives, Hon Thaddeus Aina, who is also an accused person in the murder of Holland-based Ekiti citizen, Mr Tunde Omojola, yesterday, stalled the commencement of the case in Ado Ekiti High Court.
While Aina, who is the 2nd defendant was absent, having been reportedly flown abroad for medical treatment, the first respondent and former Personal Assistant to Governor Ayodele Fayose, Mr. Goke Olatunji was present in court.
In the same vein, the case related to the murder of the former World Bank Consultant, Dr Ayodeji Daramola, which has been consolidated with Omojola’s case, was adjourned on the request of the counsels to both parties.
Omojola was killed in Ifaki Ekiti in 2006 during a councillorship election, while Daramola was murdered in Ijan Ekiti on August 14, 2006. Both murders were committed under the first term of Governor Fayose in Ekiti.
When the case was brought before Justice Adewale Fowe on Tuesday, the Prosecuting Counsel, Barr. Adekunle Adetowubo, revealed that Aina, who is representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency II, has been flown abroad for medical treatment for undisclosed ailment.
Both counsels, Adetowubo and counsels to the defendants, Mr Adeday Adewumi, sought a brief adjournment and also prayed the court to issue a witness summon, so that all the witnesses could be brought to court in the next adjournment date.
Adetowubo said: “My lord, the counsel to the 2nd respondent had told me that he was sick. The purpose of this case is to prosecute and not to persecute. Again, only the living can be tried and not the dead. We pray that he recover soon and by the time he will appear, the trial can be heard expeditiously.
“We can’t continue with this case until the 2nd defendant appears in court, because this is a criminal case. Ordinarily, we would have requested for a Bench Warrant to bring him to court, but we have done . our own findings and we found out that he was truly flown abroad for treatment.
“My lord, this adjournment does not mean we are withdrawing the charges against him, we are not even ready for that.
“Some of those granted bails in this case could not be find now, but the 2nd respondent has consistently be coming to court, so we want him granted this opportunity to appear when his health is restored.
“What we intended to do today is to mention the case, but under this circumstance, we oblige your lordship to give us a new date so that we can come with our witnesses.
“We know that this case has a chequered history but we still need patience since the defendant was only exercising his fundamental rights”, he added.
The Counsel to the respondent aligned with the submission of the prosecuting counsel that a brief adjournment was needed under this circumstance, urging them to tidy up their case for speedy trial of the accused persons.
In his ruling, Justice Fowe, who had earlier objected to adjournment said: “This matter has stayed for long and I wish we continue now. But since both parties had sought for this adjournment under the circumstance, I hereby adjourn the case to April 27, 2017 for hearing.”
“I also direct that all processes be served on the prosecutingwitnesses to appear in court on that day”, he ruled.