Incident initially reported as kidnap case, says witness

A Lagos High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa (TBS), yesterday, refused a trial within the trial application by the defendant’s counsel, Mr. Abayomi Omotubora in the murder trial of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) driver, Andrew Ominikoron, accused of killing Oluwabamise Ayanwole.

Justice Sherifat Sonaike had, prior to the ruling, on the application frowned on the conduct of the council.
The judge warned defence counsel to stop putting the court’s integrity into disrepute.
The court had at the last adjourned date, fixed yesterday for trial within trial.
However, earlier in the proceeding, Justice Sonaike asked counsel in the suit to address the court, giving the reason for trial within the trial.
Omotubora in his address said his application was premised on Section 29 (2) b of the Evidence Act.
According to him, “We are saying that the statement that was taken from the defendant was taken by way of torture, oppression and undue influence.
He submitted that what amounts to confession is determined by the case and cited Section 28 of the Evidence Act. He urged the judge to tackle it carefully.
In his submission, the prosecution counsel, Mr. M. A. Olateju said that it was unfortunate that the interpretation given to Section 29 (2) b of the Evidence Act, is not the intendment of that section.
He said: “The statement of the defendant has no confession In nature. There is nowhere the defendant admitted any of the charges before the court, more so the defendant’s counsel will have the opportunity to cross-examine the witness.
“ The defendant will be afforded the chance to state his claim. I urge the court to allow the defendant to be cross-examined.”
 After listening to their submission and arguments, Justice Sonaike in a bench ruling declined the trial within the trial.
The Judge held that “ I have read the statements of the defendant made on March 7, 8 and 9, 2022 and that of May 5, 2022.
“I have looked at the provisions of Sections 29 of the Evidence Act and Section 28, which defines the Evidence Act. I have read the statement of the defendant severally and it is not confessional in nature, and the section cited does not support the offence in the charge.
“The offence is rape, conspiracy to murder, murder and sexual assault, the defendant had denied all through the statement. The trial within the trial is hereby declined.”
The court, therefore, admitted all the statements of the defendant in evidence and adjourned the further trial to December 5, 2022.
Before the adjournment, a prosecution witness, Goddy Ihende, a Deputy Superintendent of  Police(DSP) had told the court that the case was initially reported as kidnapping.
Under cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, the seventh prosecution witness, Ihende narrated to the court that police later discovered that it was not a case of kidnapping, but a case of murder.
The BRT driver, Ominikoron is facing a five-count charge bordering on rape, conspiracy, felony, sexual assault, and murder brought against him by the Lagos State Government.
The prosecution alleged that the defendant conspired with others now at large to rape and murder a 22-year-old fashion designer, Oluwabamise Ayanwole who boarded the BRT bus at about 7:00 p.m., between Lekki Ajah expressway and Carter bridge, on February 26, 2022.
The prosecution also alleged the defendant and others now at large, on February 26, 2022, unlawfully killed one Ayanwole by throwing her out of a moving bus between Lekki- Ajah expressway and Carter Bridge.
The 47-year-old defendant was also said to have on November 25, 2021, at about 8:00 p.m., allegedly raped a 29-year-old lady,  
Maryjane Odezulu without her consent at Lekki-Ajah Conservation centre, Lekki Ajah Expressway Lagos.
His offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 411, 223, 260 and 165 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

HottestHeadline News ( – Latest and trending news in Nigeria & around the globe
    RELATED  NSCDC arrests 19 suspects for stealing bags of rice

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *