Ado Ekiti, March 28, 2017 (TNE): A former Personal Assistant to Governor Ayo Fayose during his first tenure, Goke Olatunji on Tuesday appeared before an Ado Ekiti High Court charged with double murder.
Also charged with him is a member of House of Representatives, Mr Thaddeus Aina who was, however, absent in court.
The offences were allegedly committed 11 years ago.
The two men were charged with the murder of the then Holland-based Mr Tunde Omojola and a World Bank Consultant, Dr Ayodeji Daramola.
Tuesday’s trial was stalled because of the absence of Aina, said to have gone abroad for medical treatment.
The two murder cases were consolidated at the request of the lawyers to both parties.
Omojola was killed in Ifaki Ekiti in 2006 during a councillorship election while Daramola was murdered in Ijan Ekiti on August 14, 2006.
Both murders were allegedly committed under the first term Governor Fayose.
When the case was brought before Justice Adewale Fowe, on Tuesday, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Adekunle Adetowubo, told the court that Aina, who now represents Ekiti North Federal Constituency II , had been flown abroad for medical treatment over an undisclosed ailment.
Both Adetowubo and counsel to the defendants, Mr Adedayo Adewumi, sought a brief adjournment and also prayed the court to issue a witness summon, so that all the witnesses can be brought to court at the next adjournment date.
Adetowubo said: “My lord, the counsel to the second respondent had told me that he was sick
“The purpose of this case is to prosecute and not to persecute. Again, only the living can be tried and not the dead.
”We pray that he recovers soon and by the time he will appear, the trial can be heard expeditiously
”We can’t continue with this case until the second defendant appears in court, because this is a criminal case.
”Ordinarily, we would have requested for a Bench Warrant to bring him to court, but we have done our own findings and we found out that he was truly flown abroad for treatment
”My lord, this adjournment does not mean we are withdrawing the charges against him, we are not even ready for that.
”Some of those granted bail in this case could not be found now, but the second respondent has consistently been coming to court. So we want him granted this opportunity to appear when his health is restored.
”What we intended to do today was to mention the case, but under this circumstance, we oblige your lordship to give us a new date so that we can come with our witnesses.
”We know that this case has a chequered history but we still need patience since the defendant is only exercising his fundamental rights”, he added.
Counsel to the respondent aligned with the submission of the prosecuting counsel that a brief adjournment was needed under this circumstance, urging them to tidy up their case for speedy trial of the accused persons.
In his ruling, Justice Fowe, who had earlier objected to adjournment said: “This matter has stayed for long and I wish we continued now.
”But since both parties had sought for this adjournment under the circumstance, I hereby adjourn the case to April 27, 2017 for hearing.
”I also direct that all processes be served on the prosecuting witnesses to appear in court on that day”, he ruled. (TNE)