The absence from court of Chidinma Ojukwu, the alleged murder suspect of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, yesterday, stalled the murder trial proceedings.
Miss Ojukwu is standing trial before a Lagos High Court at Tafawa Balewa Square on a nine-count charge bordering on murder, theft and forgery. She is charged alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri.
According to The PUNCH, at the resumed trial on Tuesday, only the third defendant, Egbuchu, was present while Ojukwu and Quadri were not brought to court from the correctional facility.
The defendants were not brought to court due to a strike called by the Nigeria Labour Congress. Justice Yetunde Adesanya said the correctional facility officials had informed the court that the defendants would not be brought to court for security reasons until the strike was called off.
Counsel to the first defendant, Mr Onwuka Egwu, said, “Due to the NLC’s strike, I suggest that tomorrow’s date be vacated and a fresh clear date be given.”
The second defendant’s counsel, Babatunde Busari, expressed displeasure over the slow pace of the trial.
According to Mr Busari, the trial is still taking too long in spite of the court’s efforts.
“There is no trial day that I come to this court without the trial going on. I suggest that a clear date be given to ensure that substantive justice is done to this matter,” Egwu said.
He also asked the Prosecution Counsel, Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, Director of Public Prosecutions to mention how many prosecution witnesses were remaining to give evidence.
The DPP had told the court that apart from the ninth prosecution witness, DSP Olusegun Bamidele, who was still giving evidence under cross-examination, “there are two more witnesses.’’
The judge consequently vacated November 15 to guide against disruption of the trial by the ongoing NLC strike.
She adjourned the case until December 5 and December 7 for continuation of trial.