John Ainetor, counsel to Charles Okah, charged with terrorism, on Monday prayed an Abuja Federal High Court to grant an order for a private doctor to examine his client’s mental state.
Okah and one Obi Nwabueze are standing trial for allegedly masterminding the October 1, 2010 twin bomb blasts at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
The trial judge, Justice Gabriel Koawole, had in January ordered that a fresh medical examination be conducted on Okah to confirm his mental state, after rejecting an initial one.
Kolawole’s ruling followed an application brought by Ainetor claiming that Okah was not mentally fit to stand trial.
Ainetor had alleged that the initial report, dated January 9, and signed by a Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at the National Hospital, Dr. Ephraim Oluwanuga, was ambiguous.
At the resumed hearing on Monday following the presentation of a fresh report to both counsels for scrutiny, Kolawole said that based on the medical report, they should take a date for the trial.
Ainetor, however, said that he had an application dated January 13 seeking an order for Okah to be examined by an “independent medical practitioner” to ascertain his mental status to stand trial.
According to him, the fresh medical report was conducted at the National Hospital, Abuja, which is an agency owned by the prosecution and so was bound to be biased against his client.
Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), prosecution counsel, opposed the motion on point of law, arguing that it was an abuse of court process intended to delay the trial.
Izinyon said the application was filed after the court had ordered for a fresh medical report at the National Hospital.
Justice Kolawole, in a short ruling, ordered that the prosecution counsel should file his counter-affidavit to the accused counsel’s motion within 24-hours and the latter to respond within 48-hours.
He adjourned the case until May 16 for hearing of the accused counsel’s application.