By Onozure Dania
LAGOS—JUSTICE Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, Thursday, trashed an application asking it to reject the alleged confessional statements made by a female lawyer, Udeme Otike-Odibi, accused of killing her lawyer husband, Symphorosa.
Justice Akintoye in her ruling stated that Otike-Odibi’s application, made through her lawyer, Oluseye Banjoko, did not satisfy the requirements of the law.
The judge, however, ordered a trial within trial be conducted on May 23 to determine whether the confessional statement allegedly obtained from her by the police on May 4, 2018, should be admitted as having been made by her.
Banjoko said the statements were made without her lawyer being present and without being videoed, as required by law, among other reasons.
While dismissing Otike-Odibi’s application yesterday, Justice Akintoye said: “This court does not find that the said confessional statement was obtained contrary to the provisions of Section 93 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL).
“The defence counsel has not been able to establish that the defendant was not given the option to remain silent or to avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of her choice. This has not been proved to be so. He who asserts must prove.
“It is also important to point out that the defendant, of all people, was well aware of her right, being a Legal Practitioner herself and as such, could have decided not to speak to any police officer.
“To now imply that she is not aware of her rights or that the police forced her to speak appears to be very farfetched to this court.
“The end result is that I do not find that the confessional statement being sought to be tendered has in any way contravened the provisions of sections 93 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Lagos State, 2015 or Section 35(2) of the 1999 Constitution (As amended).
“The prayer for an order rejecting the confessional statement for having been procured contrary to the above stated laws is hereby refused the motion is hereby dismissed.”
Otike-Odibi was arraigned last June 13, on a two-count charge of murder and misconduct with regard to corpse.
The Lagos State Government accused her of stabbing Symphorosa Otike-Odibi to death and mutilating his corpse by severing his manhood on May 3, 2018, at their Diamond Estate, Sangotedo, Lekki, Lagos home.