Lagos – Some exhibits for the trial of the suspected killers Chief Funso Williams, a Lagos State Governorship candidate in 2007, have been damaged due to epileptic power supply, a witness said on Monday.
The accused are Bulama Kolo, Musa Maina, David Cassidy, Tunani Sonani, Mustapha Kayode and Okponwasa Imariabie, all men.
Lagos State accused them of conspiring to kill Williams on July 27, 2006, at 34A, Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, in contravention of Sections 316 and 324 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2003.
They were first arraigned on March 1, 2013, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder.
A prosecution witness, Mr Ovie Oyokomino, told an Igbosere High Court in Lagos on Monday that the exhibits included blood samples and virtuous humour of the eye.
Oyokomino, a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of forensics at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, told Justice Adeniyi Adebajo that the exhibits were brought by a pathologist, who conducted a postmortem on Williams.
He said that he visited the scene of the alleged murder with some other policemen at 12:30p.m. on the fateful day, following a call from the then Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone II.
Oyokomino testified that a mattress and cushion containing shoe prints were collected from the deceased’s house on Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi.
He added that a blood-stained pink shirt was found in a suitcase in the deceased’s third bedroom.
The witness also disclosed that a green rope that was notched at various places was used by the killers to gain access into Williams’ duplex.
“The assailants gained entry into his apartment (his wing of a twin duplex) from the unoccupied second wing of the twin duplex.
“I got there at about 12:30p.m. with my men; there were so many people that we could hardly get into the scene with our vehicle.
“The deceased was in a lying position on the floor; his arms were tied behind him.
“His head region was under the bed and we observed blood around the head on the floor.
“He was wearing a multi-colour Ankara in `buba and sokoto’.
“We processed finger prints, shoe prints and noted the position of things considered to be relevant for our forensic work, which included one empty scab-board without the dagger.
“We did not move the body from the position we found it; the pathologist who subsequently moved the body discovered the dagger under it,” he said.
The witness added that there was a manhole in the ceiling for ease of entrance.
“An opening of 2×2 feet covered with a plywood board was made in the ceiling,” he testified.
According to Oyokomino, the police relied on the mode of entry into the apartment to effect arrest, noting that two suspects who had previously broken into the apartments in similar pattern were nabbed.
He said that DNA materials were collected from the suspects and tested in a forensic laboratory in Britain, and that the suspects were released after the DNA report exonerated them.
“The Investigating Police Officer later came back with suspects apprehended with the cell phone of the deceased, which was removed on the day of the killing.
“We got a court order from a magistrates’ court to obtain blood samples of the suspects along with those of the policemen who were attached to the deceased, and his private security guard.
“Three of the suspects are police officers.
“We obtained the blood samples from the suspects while in detention. The samples were sent for DNA profile, which was reported inconclusive.
“This was reported to the prosecuting counsel, who immediately set machinery in motion to obtain fresh samples, through an order of a high court.
“I was informed that the judge at the time gave an order but I never saw the certified true copy till now.
“It was only recently that I learnt that the order could not be carried out because the presiding judge at that time died without signing the order she made,” the witness said.
When asked by the court where all the exhibits were, the witness said that they were at the forensic department, along with body tissues and blood samples brought by the pathologist who conducted an autopsy on the late Williams.
Prosecution Counsel, Mrs. O.A. Akin-Adesomojo, submitted that as a result of the bad state of the perishable exhibits, it was necessary to obtain further samples, so that those who might not be involved in the crime could be freed.
However, Defence Counsel, Mr Agbara Okezie, objected to the prayer, saying that the prosecution had time since July 27, 2006, when the deceased died, to state its case.
“It will be unfair to come through the back door to make another request,” he said.
The case has been adjourned till June 3 for continuation of trial.