By Emma Amaize
ASABA – A High Court in Delta State sitting in Ibusa, Oshimili North Local Government Area, Tuesday, adjourned trial in the case of murder of traditional ruler of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom, HRM Obi Akaeze Edward Ofulue III, allegedly abducted and murdered by herdsmen in January 2016 to June 30.
A pathologist, Dr. C. A. Okoye, was expected to give evidence Tuesday on his findings when he examined the remains of the monarch, but the counsel to the second and fourth defendants, Barr. O.O. Oshiali, was absent, forcing the presiding judge, Justice Omozie, to adjourn the matter.
Prosecuting counsel, Barr. A.O Orhororo, who bemoaned the absence of the counsel to the defendants, said it was affecting smooth running of the case as the pathologists would not testify on the post mortem results without his presence.
He pleaded with the court that “the counsel to both defendants should be made to bear the financial implication of the inability of the witness to testify.”
His words: “We had to spend a sum of N37, 500 to enable the pathologist witness be in court”.
However, the judge noted that it was the first time the counsel to the defendants was absent from court since the case began and should not be crucified for it
“The court would give the absent counsel to the defendant a benefit of doubt as it is not in the character of the counsel to be absent in court”, he ruled.
Justice Omozie adjourned the case to June 30.