APC chieftain’s murder: Lawyer’s absence stalls suspects’ trial
Posted: 12/Feb/2019

A Lagos High Court in Igbosere Tuesday adjourned till February 14 the trial of four men charged with the murder of a Lagos All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Emmanuel Uba (a.k.a Onwa), following absence of the fourth defendant’s counsel.

The first to fourth defendants are: Michael Fashola, Mufutau Tokosi, Abidemi Kolawole, and Fatai Onifade.

The defendants were arraigned by the Lagos State Government on May 7, 2018 before Justice I. O. Akinkugbe on a three-count charge of conspiracy and murder.

They pleaded not guilty following which the judge remanded them in prison custody.

At the resumption of proceedings Tuesday, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution Ms Titilayo Shita-Bey, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told the court that the business of the day was for the fifth prosecution witness to conclude his evidence.

She noted that the fourth defendant’s counsel, Mr Farouk Bakare, was absent.

Only the other defendants’ counsel, Mr I. O. Ajanuku was in court.

The judge stood down the case pending Bakare’s arrival and heard other matters.

But when the case was called again, the counsel was still not available.

“The absence of fourth defendant’s counsel is unusual,” Justice Akinkugbe noted, before adjourning till February 14.

During their arraignment last May, Shitta-Bey told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offences on July 21, at about 8pm, at 41 Road, Festac Town, Lagos.

The court heard that the defendants conspired and killed, Onwa during a political meeting, a few hours before local government elections in Lagos State.

Onwa, who was also the Chairman of Community Policing Youth Vanguard in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, was shot twice in the head with a gun by assailants on a motorcycle.

The defendants were also accused of being members of a cult, the Eiye Confraternity.

Shitta-Bey said the offences contravened Sections 220 (1) (b) and 233 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.