Funsho Williams: Court refuses application to collect fresh blood samples
Williams was the Peoples Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2003 elections in Lagos State
A Lagos High Court, sitting at Igbosere, on Tuesday refused an application seeking its permission to conduct fresh blood samples from the suspected killers of Engineer Funsho Williams.
Williams was the Peoples Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2003 elections in Lagos State.
The suspects are Musa Maina, Bulama Kolo, David Cassidy, Tunani Sonani, Mustapha Kayode and Okponwasa Imariabie.
The six suspects appeared before the Presiding Judge, Justice Ebenezer Adebajo.
The state prosecution had informed the court that epileptic power supply had damaged the blood samples collected as exhibits for forensic evidence from the defendants at the commencement of the case, including Williams’ eyes.
Consequently, the prosecution filed an application seeking the court’s permission to collect fresh blood samples from the defendants for its forensic investigation.
But the Defence Counsel, Okezie Agbara, in his objection, argued that the court should not allow the prosecution to re-open investigation at this stage of the trial .
Agbara queried: “Since the prosecution said the initial samples have been destroyed by lack of electricity, what samples will they match it with?”
Agbara submitted that an accused person should be prosecuted within reasonable time, adding that the prosecution had ample time since the 2007 to assemble fresh samples.
He argued that allowing the prosecution to conduct fresh blood samples would amount to delay of justice, adding: “Justice is not only for the state but for the defendants as well.”
Agbara further submitted that the court should refuse the prosecution’s prayer on grounds that an attached exhibit marked A, “which is a ruling from a Magistrates’ Court was unsigned”.
He said the ruling only contained the stamp and endorsement of the registrar of the court, which document could not be relied on.
Delivering his ruling on Tuesday, Adebajo refused the application, saying that all the legal authorities cited by the prosecution have no relevance to the case.
The judge held that to allow the prosecution to conduct another forensic investigation would further delay the trial, adding: “There must be an end to litigation.
”In view of the foregoing, the application in my own opinion lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed.”
Adebajo consequently ordered the Director of Public Prosecution, Lagos State to file an application to be served on the defendants the report of the earlier blood samples taken on the orders of a Magistrate’s court.
The judge adjourned the case to April 15 and 16 for continuation of trial.