• Drama as Lucky Keyamo storms court premises with placard
JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU, Calabar
WITH a packed courtroom that looked forward to the unleashing of legal fireworks, the long-awaited trial of the 13 suspected killers of Chief Bola Ige (SAN), suffered a setback on Monday as its maiden session was adjourned to October 21 following the insistence of the defence lawyers of being served with the proofs of evidence.
A touch of drama was also introduced to the case as Lucky, the younger brother of a Lagos lawyer Mr Festus Keyamo, stormed the Ibadan High Court premises with placards proclaiming the innocence of the suspects, while Muyiwa, Ige’s son, expressed hopes that the culprits would be brought to book at the end of the trial.
Although 11 of the 13 suspects were brought to court as early as 8.45a.m in a black Boxer Fiat bus marked AJ 16 UYY Akwa Ibom, under tight security, they could not be arraigned because their lawyers insisted on being served with the proofs of evidence before the case could begin.
As soon as the case was mentioned before Justice Atilade Ojo, one of the defence lawyers, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye, representing Adesina Adewale and Adekunle Alao (3rd and 4th accused persons) raised an objection to the arraignment of his clients, saying the prosecution had failed to serve them with the proof of evidence.
Besides Adesina and Alao, the other suspects are Alani Omisore, described as a relation of the Osun State deputy Governor, Otunba Iyiola Omisore, Olugbenga Adebayo (aka Fryo), Adesiyan Oyewale, Lambe Oyasope, Daramola Ezekiel, Sergeant Oye Oniyanda, Adebayo Adegoke, Kasim Lawal, Nelson Kumoye, Oluwole Ogunjimi, Police-Constables Sule Ibrahim and Idowu James, who are both at large.
Appearing for the prosecution, the Oyo State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs. Olubunmi Oyesina, told the court that 11 of the copies of the charge were filed before the court, while the defence lawyers ought to have applied for copies from the court registry, stressing: “I cannot serve them the papers in their homes.”
The DPP, however, agreed with the defence lawyers that they must be acquainted with all necessary papers relating to the trial of their clients before proper arraignment could take palce. She asked for a shot adjournment.
All the defence lawyers spoke in one voice that the proof of evidence was a condition-precedent before a proper arraignment of the suspects could done.
Ruling, Justice Ojo directed all the defence counsel to avail themselves of all the necessary papers related to the case before the next adjournment.
Before adjourning the case to October 21, the Judge warned the prosecution and the defence counsel against engaging in any act capable of hindering the speedy dispensation of justice in the case.
He advised lawyers in the case who were not resident in Ibadan to relocate there immediately, as according to him, “I would not entertain any excuse from anybody.”
Speaking with reporters after the adjournment, Muyiwa, who was in company of his sister, Mrs Funso Adegbola, expressed the hope that justice would be done in the case.
He, however, believed that some key suspects were yet to be arrested “, Muyiwa said. “There may still be some of the killers out there that need to be taken into custody, but I think all is going to be well.”The court room was packed full with lawyers including the president of the Nigeian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) who was represented at the proceeding, by Mr Oluwole Aina of the Oyo State NBA branch, while Mr. Peter Idowuheld watching brief for the Ige family.
All the 13 suspects except two — Constables Ibrahim and James were in court.
All the suspects who looked well-fed were neatlydressed with Fryo clad in purple coloured guinea jackguard flowing gown with red abetiaja cap to watch as the cynosure. Omisore, was dressed in a black lace material, Adesiyan Oyewale brown guinea, Alao white lace, while Oyasope was clad in a brown guinea, well-tailored traditional dress.
Other suspects in court yesterday included Daramola Eekiel (SSS) Oniyanda (Police orderlyto Ige), Adegoke (Ige’s personal driver), Kumoye, Lawal and Ogunjinmi.
The suspects who arrived in the court singing songs of praises, while over 500 of their friends and relations were at hand to received them.
Some loyalists of Ige led by ?Dr. Larinde Akinleye Dr. Wale Okediran and teh family and beneficiaries of late Ige’s free education programme also stormed the court to witness the case.
The entire premises of the court located on King road Ibadan was heavily guarded bystem looking anti-riot policemen until the case which lasted about 22 minutes was adjourned till October 21, 2002, Monday.