A Lagos High Court, Igbosere, was on Wednesday thrown into confusion as an alleged killer of Chief Funsho Williams, a gubernatorial candidate for Lagos State, slumped during proceedings.
The second accused in the murder case, Musa Maina, slumped in the dock at the peak of an argument on whether the prosecution should be allowed to collect fresh blood samples from the accused for forensic investigation.
Maina, who is said to be asthmatic, had been in prison custody since 2006 along with the first accused, Bulama Kolo.
The others arraigned for the murder are David Cassidy, Tunani Sonani, Mustapha Kayode and Okponwasa Imariabie.
Maina slumped barely 45 minutes after the accused were put in the dock,
His co-accused assisted him to stand up but the abnormality drew the attention of the judge, Justice Adeniyi Adebajo, who directed that he should sit down.
As the trial proceeded, Maina slumped while sitting. This caused some confusion in the court.
Worried at the recurrence, Adebajo ordered the court’s support staff and prison personnel to call for an ambulance.
Maina, who was seen struggling with an inhaler, with tears and catarrh running down his eyes and nostrils, was supported by security operatives who made him to lie down.
The court was rowdy for about 10 minutes with lawyers and litigants running around to assist the accused.
While some asthmatic patients brought their inhalers, others were fanning Maina to assist him.
About 25 minutes after the incident, a nurse came into the court to carry Maina into a Lagos State ambulance marked, JJJ 704 AP and parked at the court’s entrance.
She was assisted by two prison wardens
After proceedings resumed, Adebajo adjourned the case till Feb. 20 for ruling on whether the prosecution can collect fresh blood samples from the accused for forensic examination.
The Lagos State Government had in April told the court that exhibits initially collected from the accused for forensic examination, as well as the deceased’s eyes, had been damaged due to epileptic power supply.
At the resumed hearing, the state Counsel, Mrs E.I. Alakija, reminded the court of the pending application.
Alakija said that the prosecution relied on all the nine paragraphs of its affidavit, citing authorities that allowed for samples to be collected in an ongoing criminal trial.
Objecting, Counsel to the accused, Mr Okezie Agbara, in a nine-paragraph counter-affidavit, told the court that the prosecution could not re-open investigation at this stage of the trial.
“Since the prosecution said the initial samples have been destroyed by lack of electricity, which samples will they match them with?”
The defence counsel further argued that an accused should be prosecuted within a reasonable time.
He said that the case begun in 2007, and that allowing the prosecution to collect fresh samples would further delay it.