A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Wednesday, warned it would commence trial in a case against 50-year-old Yesiru Onajobi, standing trial for alleged incest.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke adjourned the case to March 5, following the absence of a counsel for Onajobi.
The accused, resident at Bogije St., Ibeju, in Lekki Lagos, is standing trial on a two-count charge of alleged carnal knowledge of his 14-year-old daughter.
He is being prosecuted by The National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP).
Reports indicated that when the case resumed for hearing on Wednesday, the prosecutor, Mrs Nora Eshiet, told the court that there was still no legal representation for the accused.
The judge then asked the accused if he understood the nature of the offence against him. The accused replied that he understood the offence but that he could not afford the legal fees.
Justice Aneke then adjourned the case to March 5, and warned the accused that the court would proceed with the trial on the next date should he fail to get legal representation.
“This case is further adjourned to March 5, for continuation of trial; it is a criminal case and should be granted accelerated hearing.
“Trial will proceed if the accused fails to provide a legal representation at the next date,” he said
Reports showed that the trial has suffered adjournments due to absence of a defence counsel. Recall that the matter was heard before Justice Barbara Molokwo but later transferred to Aneke on July 8, 2013 following Molokwu’s death.
Although the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge, Aneke ordered his remand at the Ikoyi Prisons pending his bail application.
The prosecutor said the accused allegedly committed the offence in 2010. Eshiet had told the court that after the death of Onaboji’s wife, the accused started to sexually assault his only daughter in his custody and got her pregnant.
Eshiet said the offence contravened the provisions of section 13 (1) and 18 (a) of the Trafficking in person (Prohibition) Law Enforcement Act, 2003.