Judge Berates Prosecution Over Botched Murder Trial

Justice Olabisi Akinlade of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja on Monday reprimanded the prosecution over the failed prosecution of 41-year-old Mr. Taofeek Adejumo for alleged murder of his brother, Taorid, on March 2, 2009.

Akinlade, who discharged Adejumo in a ruling on his no-case-submission, expressed disappointment with the prosecution’s failure to tender the accused’s confessional statement and other key documents in the case.

The prosecution only called one witness, who was the Investigative Police Officer, and failed to tender the statement of the accused, the report of autopsy carried out on the deceased and the object alleged to have been used to stab the deceased to death.

Suspicious of underhand in the handling of the trial, the judge, while addressing the accused after delivering her ruling, said, “I have not discharged you on merit. I don’t know what has happened between the prosecution and your lawyer.”

She turned to the prosecuting counsel, Mrs. Abiola Awoyinka, saying her failure to tender “even the confessional statement” was unjustifiable.

Awoyinka’s response that the prosecution did its best in the case further drew the anger of the judge who urged the “management” of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to investigate the handling of the case.

The judge said, “A confessional statement is in your file and you did not tender it. What is the best you have done in the case? You cannot justify your reason.

“In fact, it is a matter your management should look into. You have the duty not to withhold evidence.”

The judge asked the accused to turn to God for forgiveness as it was evident that he actually killed his brother.

She said, “This is the judgment of Justice Olabisi Akinlade, a mortal like you. You need to seek forgiveness from Almighty God.

“You know you killed your brother. I do not understand why they have failed to tender your statement before this court.

“Whether this court leaves you or not, the fact remains that you killed your brother. So I leave you to the judgment of Almighty God.”

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Sources: Naij.com news, Punch Nigeria

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