November 27, 2019

Lawyer’s absence stalls couple’s murder trial

Court orders extension of NIN registration by 2 months

Federal High Court, Lagos

Onozure Dania

The trial of two medical doctors at the Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere over the alleged attempted murder of a 17-year-old patient was stalled on Wednesday due to the absence of their new counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN).


The defendants, Ejike and Grace Orji, are standing trial on a four-count charge of attempted murder, causing grievous harm and negligent act causing harm, preferred against them by the Lagos State government.

However, the couple pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On the last adjourned date, Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN) had appeared for the couple, but when the matter came up on Wednesday, the case could not go on as the defendants’ counsel was not in court.

A counsel from his chambers, Gold Mgbeahuru, told the court that they had just been briefed and that they will need time to prepare for the trial as her principal was not in court.

She said: “We have just been briefed and Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) is on his way. I have agreed with the prosecutor that we can come back tomorrow.”

In his response, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Adebayo Haroun, said that at the last adjourned date, Shasore appeared in the matter, adding that If he had known that they weren’t prepared, he wouldn’t have brought the witness to court.

However, Justice Adedayo Akintoye asked the defendants for their lawyer.

The first defendant Ejike, told the judge that his counsel was Shasore, adding that a few days ago, his chambers wrote to him that they were withdrawing from the case for personal reasons.

He said: “I have a new counsel now, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN). The same thing with the second defendant.

The judge, however, adjourned the case till Thursday for trial.

During the doctors’ arraignment, the Lagos State Prosecutor, Mr. Babatunde Sunmonu, had told the court that the defendants committed the offence on July 26, 2018, at Excel Medical Centre in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Sunmonu said the defendants attempted to murder a 17-year-old boy, one Somtochukwu Ezi-Ashi, by unlawfully causing grievous bodily harm to his left leg.

According to the prosecutor, the duo caused grievous harm on the boy by fixing a Plaster of Paris (POP) on his leg without his consent nor that of his parents.

The prosecutor also said that the two doctors who were not orthopaedic specialists, recklessly administered orthopaedic treatment on the boy, from his upper thigh to his toes and deliberately refused to remove the said POP when requested to do so.

He said that the defendants deliberately removed the POP in a manner that put the life of the boy at risk.