Cynthia Osokogu: Absence of defense counsel, defendant stall trial

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Trial of the four men charged with the murder of Cynthia Osokogu, before a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, was yesterday stalled following the absence of fourth defendant, Nonso Ezike, and first defendant’s counsel, Mr Victor Okpara.

Cynthia Osokogu, post-graduate student of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, was murdered on July 22, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, Lagos, allegedly by her facebook lovers.

The defendants are Okwumo Nwabufo, 33; Olisaeloka Ezike, 23; Orji Osita, 33; and Ezike Nonso, 25; who was arrested by policemen at Area E for receiving and selling Cynthia’s BlackBerry phone.

At the resumed hearing, the matter slated for continuation of cross examination could not go on as the fourth defendant’s lawyer, Mrs Abia Bassey, told the court that his client was diagnosed for typhoid and malaria and that he had been on drip.

Obviously dissatisfied, the presiding judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, pointed out that the adjournment of the matter had always been at the instance of the defense and then asked why she should not revoke the fourth defendant’s bail or issue him a bench warrant.

“He should have informed the court of his ailment. Remember the first and the second defendants in custody are not proven guilty yet. Is it because he is enjoying his bail that he refused to show up in court? Let him know that the court has the power to revoke his bail,” Justice Akinlade said.

Sequel to the absence of counsel and fourth defendant, the prosecutor, Mrs. Abiola Adeyinka, asked the court for an adjournment and the judge subsequently adjourned the case to May 5 and 20 for continuation of cross examination.

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