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Cynthia Okogwu case: Judge scolds defence counsel over delay

By Onozure Dania

Lagos—Justice  Olabisi Akinlade of an Igbosere High court, yesterday, expressed displeasure over  excuses of the defence counsel in the ongoing trial of four men, who allegedly murdered Cynthia Osokogu . Osokogu was allegedly murdered on July 22, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, Lagos, by her Facebook lover Okwumo Nwabufo and one Ezike Nonso.

The defendants are Okwumo Nwabufo, 33; Olisaeloka Ezike, 23; Orji Osita, 33, and Ezike Nonso, 25. According to the judge, the defence counsel is delaying the case, which she said, is of interest to the public. She said that people always think that it is the court that is delaying the matter, not knowing that it is the defendants’ counsel.

“At the last adjourned date I gave you 14 days to file your written addresses and and gave the prosecution three weeks to respond to all the addresses. “The first and second defendants, who have been in prison since 2012, are still presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

Justice Akinlade further stated that she was going to give a specific order as to when they are to file their written addresses as the defence counsel could not continue to waste the time of the court. The judge, therefore, ordered the  counsel to second defendant to file his written address on June 17, and failure to do so a substantial cost will be awarded against him, which he must settle  from his personal account.

She further adjourned the case to 27 of October for adoption of written addresses. Cynthia Osokogu’s trial had suffered several adjournments due to the delay tactics of the defence counsel. The defendants 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 committed are punishable under sections 221, 249, 285 and 327 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.



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