The beginning of the definite trial of the five suspected armed bandits that struck at banks in Offa in Kwara State on April 5, 2018 at Ilorin High Court was yesterday stalled again due to the unpreparedness of the prosecution counsel.
The court had fixed yesterday at the last adjourned date for definite hearing as a result of the inability of the prosecution to produce witnesses in court.
Appearing for the first time in the case for the state government/prosecution, Prof. Wahab Egbewole (SAN) urged the court to grant him some ample time to interact with the witnesses. He thereafter applied for a short adjournment.
He added that “I got a fiat from the state Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice Kamaldeen Ajibade yesterday to take over the case and I am yet to interact with the witnesses who are in court.”
He, however, said that “I want to plead that I will not ask for adjournment any more in this case. What is important in this matter is for justice to be done to all parties at the end of the day.”
In his reaction, Defence counsel, Mr. Mathias Emeribe agreed with the position canvassed by the learned silk.
“However, I want to urge him to impress it upon the police to avail me of all the evidences they want to tender in the matter. It is important for me to study the evidences and bring same before my clients to be able to do a proper defense in this matter,” he said.
He said, “I am still waiting for prosecution to show that they have the capacity and all that is required to do well in this case.
“At least, if for nothing, you discover, the fault is not from the defense, so that when I begin to make the necessary applications the whole world will know that the defense is justified.
“There are some things you will do and it will look as if you are not ready to do justice in this matter. My countenance and that of the defense have shown that we are ready to prove our innocence.”
However, angered by the delayed in the commencement of hearing, the trial Judge, Justice Halimat Salman said “I don’t like what is happening in this case. At the end of the day they will put the blame on the court.
The witnesses are in court yet you (prosecution) are not ready for prosecution.”
Before granting the application for adjournment, Justice Salman said “the court is reluctantly granting the adjournment at the instance of the prosecution.”
She then adjourned the case to January 25th for hearing.