The trial of Andrew Ominnikoron, driver of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) charged with the rape and murder of a 22-year-old fashion designer, Oluwabamise Ayanwole, was on Tuesday stalled due to the ill-health of the defendant’s counsel.
Ominnikoron is charged before a Lagos High Court, Tafawa Balewa Square, on five counts bordering on conspiracy, rape, and murder, preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on June 1, the last adjourned date, the case did not go on, due to the absence of the defendant.
NAN also reports that the court was informed that the prisons service could not bring the inmates to court, due to security reasons over the banning of commercial motorcycles in six local government areas of the state.
However, when the case was called on Tuesday, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Dr Babajide Martins, announced his appearance and informed the court that the defendant’s counsel, Abayomi Omotubora, was absent.
Martins said that the counsel informed him over the phone that he was sick, and would not be able to come to court.
“I want the court to have it on record that we have three witnesses in court, and one of them came from out of jurisdiction,” Martins said.
He stated that the three witnesses were also in court on June 1, when the defendant was not produced.
Justice Sherifat Sonaike, however, adjourned the case until June 9, for continuation of trial.
The prosecution had stated that the offence took place on Feb. 26 at 7.00 p.m., at Lekki- Ajah Conservation Centre, Lekki-Ajah Expressway, Lagos, and Carter Bridge.
The police also alleged that the defendant had sexual intercourse with Ayanwole without her consent, and murdered her.
According to the prosecution, the offence contravenes Sections 165, 223, 260 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
However, the 47-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.