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Apo six: Court charges lawyer for stalling proceedings

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA – An Abuja high court yesterday ordered a legal practitioner, Mr Olu Otitoju to appear before him on October 14, this year to explain why he should not be reported for disciplinary actions for stalling the on-going trial of six policemen charged with the killing of six Igbo traders in Abuja.

The presiding high court judge, Justice Ishaq Bello gave the order upon a complaint by the lead prosecuting counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) that Otitoju was unserious about the prosecution and that his attitude conflicted with the ethics of the profession. Otitoju is the counsel to the fifth accused person (Ezekiel Acheneje) in the matter.

He was conspicuously absent in court yesterday even though the prison produced all the accused persons in court for trial.

His absence in court stalled the proceedings because being a murder case the court could not  proceed in the absence of counsel in the case.

The accused, persons including DCP Danjuma Ibrahim, ASP Othman Abdulsaami (at large), Nicholas Zakaria, Emmanuel Baba, Ezekiel Acheneje and Sadiq Salami were charged for the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death.

They are standing trial for the gruesome murder of six youths; Ifeanyi Ozo, Chinedu Menriu, Isaac Ekene, Paulinus Ogbonna, Anthony Nwokike and Tina Arebun (Female). Aged between 21 and 25, five of the six young Nigerians were said to be male traders at the Apo Mechanic village including a young lady.

It was prosecution counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) with Chief Maman Osman (SAN) who convinced the court to issue the order against the erring lawyer.

In his oral application, Uche frowned at what he described as the unserious attitude of the defence lawyer saying it was against the ethics of the legal profession for counsel to hold the court into ransom without reasons.


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