Lagos – Justice Olabisi Akinlade of a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere on Monday accused the defence counsel of stalling the trial of the four men charged with the murder of Cynthia Osokogu in Lagos in 2012.
Akinlade made the accusation when counsel to the first and second defendants — Miss Mosunmola Oladapo and Mr Michael Ajayi — were unable to file their written addresses as directed by the court.
The defendants are Okwumo Nwabufo, 33; Olisaeloka Ezike, 23; Orji Osita, 33; and Ezike Nonso, 25.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osokogu was allegedly murdered on July 22, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, Lagos, by her facebook lovers — Ezike and Nwabufo.
The counsel had at the last hearing closed their defence for the “trial within trial’’ which was to determine how statements were obtained from the defendants.
At the resumed hearing, the counsel told the court that they were unable to file their written addresses because of their inability to obtain the records of proceedings.
The judge then accused the counsel of deliberately stalling the trial, noting that they failed to consider that the accused were still in prison custody.
“I followed up with the registrar to make sure that the record of court proceedings is ready, but you did not show up to collect it,” Akinlade said.
The judge ordered that the written addresses should be filed and served on the prosecution within the next ten days, while other response should be done in two weeks.
She adjourned the case to Feb. 27 for the adoption of written addresses.
The first and second defendants had at the last hearing told the court that statements were forcefully obtained from them.
NAN also reports that the men are facing a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, stealing, reckless negligence and possession of stolen goods.
The prosecution said the 25-year-old Osokogu, who was resident in Abuja, was lured to Lagos where she was killed.
The offences contravened Sections 221, 249, 285 and 327 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. (NAN)