The trial of Akolade Arowolo, a 31-year-old man, who allegedly murdered his wife, Titilayo, on June 24, 2011, was stalled again on Monday after a police witness, Mr. Baye Cletus, failed to show up in court.
When the case came up for mention, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. O.O Eboda, told the court that Cletus was not available as he had travelled to attend his father’s burial.
“My lord, the police witness, who is also the Investigating Police Officer at the Aswani Station, where the matter was first reported, told me yesterday (Sunday) that he had travelled to his village to bury his father. He pleaded for an October date,” she said.
Cletus, the 12th witness for the prosecution, had given part of his testimony on June 26, 2012, wherein he said it was Akolade’s father who first came to report Titilayo’s murder to the police.
He was however not able to complete his evidence-in-chief as Akolade was writhing in pains during the trial, causing the judge to adjourn the case till September 14, 2012.
But it was adjourned yet again due to activities marking the new legal year.
On Monday, however, Jutice Lateefa Okunnu, berated the policeman for his absence, ascribing it to sheer indiscipline.
She said, “I will not adjourn the matter till October because of him (Cletus). It’s either he comes back or I ignore all his evidence. He shouldn’t have done such during a criminal trial. I give him till Friday to return.
“This is the kind of behaviour that should be reported to the Commissioner of Police or the Police Service Commission. I will never condone such behaviour. This is sheer disrespect for the court and the rule of law.
“In a developed society such could never happen. Where are we going in this country? When there is no law, there will be anarchy. I give him till Friday to return. If he is not here, the next witness better be.”
Okunnu adjourned the case till September 28, 2012, for further hearing.