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Ibadan Husband Killer Case Adjourned Again As Witnesses Demand Money

The murder case involving legal practitioner, Yewande Adelowo in the death of his husband, Adelowo Oyediran was today November 9, 2016 adjourned again as witnesses demanded payment of N500,000.00 before they can continue to appear in court.
The presiding judge, Justice Muktar Abimbola of the Oyo State High Court however, adjourned the case till December 5, 2016 for continued hearing and consideration of the defense counsel’s application for bail. The private prosecutor for the plainfiff, Akinyele Sanyaolu had told the court that he received a letter from the prosecution witnesses, Chief John Adelodun and Mrs Esther Adelodun, Yewande’s landlord and land lady respectively, demanding for payment of travel expenses incurred in attending court proceedings in the past and in future.
Sanyaolu who described the request as a novel development, asked the judge who doubles as the Chief Judge of Oyo State to intervene while application for bail by the defense counsel could be heard. The presiding judge in a tone laden with grief lamented that such a request could be made by the eye witnesses in a case as serious as a murder case. He said in a criminal procedure law a witness does not have the liberty to seat down somewhere and hold the court to ransom. He said the court could as well invoke ‘witness summon’ to compel both witnesses to appear in court, failing which they could be culpable for contempt of court.
The judge however, cited section 198 of the criminal procedure law which favours such request anyway by a witness. He however, requested the prosecution counsel to direct an application for payment of N5, 000 to each of the witnesses to use as travel expense from Akobo area of Ibadan to the State High court Ring road, Ibadan to the Court Registrar for immediate payment in a certified cheque to be attached to the witness summon.
‘’If they refuse to come, the court has the power to compel them to come; that’s what the criminal procedure law says’’, he said. In his reaction, the defense counsel, Asanke noted that he had wanted to make an application for bail before the court. He said the unfolding development was an indication for a prolonged adjournment since no one knows when the payment for the witnesses travel epenses would be made. He noted with dismay that his client, Yewande had been in prison detention since February. He appealed to the court to permit him to make the application, a request the presiding judge decided to step down till the next adjourned date.
The presiding judge, however, queried the propriety of requesting for bail in the middle of a criminal case. Justice Abimbola noted that his heart bleeds with the condition of the inmates in the prison. He said he was nicknamed ‘sin no more’ by the prison officials as he was always favourably disposed to giving inmates the second chance. He however, added that ‘’justice is not only for Yewande, justice is also for the family of the deceased and the criminal justice system’’. ‘’Justice is a very complex thing. It needs sober reflection’’, he added.

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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