The trial of the owner of Hilton Hotel and Resort, Ile-Ife, Dr Rahmon Adedoyin, and his six staff accused of murder and tampering with the corpse of Master student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Timothy Adegoke, was stalled on Monday as the second defendant, Magdalena Chiefuna, slumped inside the dock.
The trial commenced as counsel from the Ministry of Justice, Mr Abiodun Badiora informed the court of Osun Attorney-General’s decision to take over the matter as the offences in the charges were acts against the state.
A human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) told the court presided over by Justice Oyebola Ojo that he has the fiat from the Attorney-General to take over the prosecution, adding the constitution does not mandate that the court be informed to take over the case to which the counsel to the defendants opposed.
However, counsel to the 2nd, 4th and 5th defendant, Abdulrasheed Muritala (SAN) argued that the Attorney-General ought to have taken over the matter from the police before issuing fiat on the matter.
During the argument, the second defendant, Cheifuna, started coughing intermittently and slumped before court clerks and corrections officials rushed to rescue her.
The case was stood down for ten minutes before the court resumed sitting.
Counsel to Adedoyin, Kehinde Eleja, told the court that his client is not calling any witnesses in his defence while Abdulrasheed Muritala, said the 2nd defendant will be calling witnesses but she is not in the best frame of mind to so do having slumped in the court during the proceedings.
Muritala sought an adjournment to allow the health of his client to stabilise as he is standing for the 4th and 5th defendants too.
Rowland Otaru for 3rd and 6th also prayed for adjournment as he is defending his doctoral thesis.
Also, Okon Ita, counsel for the 7th defendant sought adjournment on the ground that he would not want to proceed ahead of the other defendants.
Falana did not oppose the application and the presiding judge, Adepele Ojo adjourned the matter till May 25 for the continuation of the trial.
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