Posted By: Odunayo Ogunmola, Ado-Ekiti
Former Governor Ekiti State and All Progressives Congress (APC) Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Segun Oni, on Friday stormed the State High Court in Ado-Ekiti in solidarity with seven party members standing trial for alleged complicity in the murder of former National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) Chairman Omolafe Aderiye.
Oni, whose appearance caught party loyalists and family members unawares, entered the High Court 6 where the case was being heard by Justice Lekan Ogunmoye at about 9. 40 am when lawyers were locked in hot argument over failure of the prosecution to bring witnesses to give evidence.
There was a massive security build-up within and outside the court premises but Oni’s arrival at the gate elicited applause by party members who saw him before he made his way into the courtroom.
The former governor who is also a governorship aspirant on the platform of his party ahead of the 2018 election, arrived the court with members of his campaign organisation and supporters.
APC members on trial are Adebayo Aderiye (1st defendant), Adeniyi Adedipe (2nd), Sola Durodola (3rd), Ajayi Kayode (4th), Oso Farotimi (5th), Sola Adenijo (6th) and Rotimi Olanbiwonnu (7th).
Justice Ogunmoye was not happy with the prosecution counsel, Ahmed Tafa, for not bringing his witnesses to court as promised on the last day of sitting which he described as a “deliberate action.”
Tafa alleged that one of his witnesses, Yinka Aderiye, was attacked by unknown persons producing the picture and police extract where the incident was reported.
Defence lawyers, Abiodun Fasakin (representing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants), Lekan Olatawura (5th and 7th) and Adetunji Oso (6th) faulted the documents on the ground that the police document was a photocopy while Yinka, in the picture appeared not to be injured.
Oso alleged that Yinka appeared in the photograph “to be changing clothes at a scene location” while Olatawura urged the court to invoke a bench warrant to bring the witnesses. Fasakin accused the
prosecution of resorting to delay tactics.
Defence counsel accused the prosecution of a deliberate plot to keep the defendants in prison custody perpetually, and urged the court to consider their bail.