TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Chief Judge of Osun State, Justice Adepele Ojo has disclosed that she will be delivering judgement in the trial of the alleged murder of Timothy Adegoke, a postgraduate student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in a month’s time.
Justice Ojo of the Osun State High Court 1, Osogbo, made this known on Thursday after parties in the matter furnished the court with their final written addresses and counter addresses.
The owner of Hilton Honors Hotel, Ile-Ife, Rahmon Adedoyin and six of his hotel workers, including Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Kunle and Adedeji Adesola, are standing trial over the death of Adegoke.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of the proceeding which was slated for adoption of written addresses, Ojo informed the court that she received fresh applications from the defendants’ counsels.
Counsels to the defendants including Yusuf Ali, Rowland Otaru, and Murtala Abdulrasheed, in their separate applications, asked the court to declare null and void the appearances, applications and other legal activities of the prosecuting counsel, Femi Falana for allegedly lacking locus standi to prosecute the matter.
They urged the court to declare null and void and unconstitutional the appearances, applications and entire proceedings that Falana, Funmi Falana and Fatima Adesina partook for failing to show proof that they are prosecuting with the approval of the Attorney General of Osun State and Commissioner of Justice.
While stressing that Falana does not possess fiat from the state Attorney General to prosecute the matter and that he failed to present any evidence of the fiat to the court, the defence counsels prayed for order of the court to set aside the proceedings in which Falana and his fellow prosecuting colleagues participated and to also impede their further participation in the matter.
Falana had argued that he obtained a fiat from the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Osun State to prosecute the matter.
He said that the Osun Attorney General had sent three lawyers to the court on April 25, 2022 and handed the prosecution of the matter to him and wondered what the defence counsels stand to achieve by making the applications.
Addressing the court while raising objections to the defence applications, Falana said, “My learned friends (defence) have no right to challenge my appearance in the matter. The Attorney General can exercise his power the way he likes. It’s true I have promised to produce the fiat, but when I read the authorities further, I am not bound under the law to produce my authorities. But, for the avoidance of doubt, on 25th April, the AG sent three lawyers to the court to validate my fiat. I want the court to dismiss their application. What are my learned friends out to achieve, the implication is that the proceedings of the honourable court from April 25, 2022 will be set aside if the court grants their application. The case will start de novo.”
Falana urged the court to discountenance the defendants’ applications saying they lacked locus standi to pray for such.
The prosecutor asked the court to consider the defendants who had been in prison since last year March and reject the prayers of the defence counsels. He prayed the court to ensure that justice is served in the murder of Adegoke.
Giving remarks after the defence argued their written addresses and urged the court to discountenance the allegations against their clients, Ojo said ruling on the fresh applications and judgement on the matter would be given in a month’s time and that the date would be communicated to the parties.