The murder case involving an Ibadan-based female lawyer, Yewande Adeniran accused of killing her husband, Oyelowo Oyediran, at the Oyo State High Court Ibadan, has been stalled indefinitely. Family members of the deceased and human rights activists who had developed participatory interest in the case all along were all disappointed today Monday July 10, 2017 when the case was billed for hearing and the presiding judge was nowhere to be found within the court premises.
The Street Journal reports that the presiding judge who doubles as the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Muktar Abimbola was said to be away in Abuja on an official assignment by the court officials. Litigants in the case were however, told to await further directives from the presiding judge for the next adjourned date.
Investigations by our reporter however, revealed that the legal annual vacation commenced today in the state precipitating the inability of the judge to sit to hear the case. An impeccable source at the State High Court confided in our reporter that the annual leave for the judges that started on Monday would last till middle of September.
Our source said the judge would also go on a two- week training programme upon resumption, adding that the judge might not be available for the continuation of the case until October.
A family lawyer for the deceased who would not want his name in print said that no matter how long the matter would last, justice must definitely prevail. He noted that the temporary setback in the case was not tantamount to victory for the accused, stressing that the spirit of Lowo lives on. He said the spirit of the brutally murdered France-based businessman would continue to trouble those who killed him.
He added that those who were determined to bend the course of justice in the matter would not go unpunished by the spirit of the deceased who was killed in his prime age.
It was however, gathered that disasters of imaginable proportions have continued to befall those who were working against the spirit of Lowo to get justice. It was gathered that the son of one of the defence lawyers, simply identified as Ashanke was shot by gunmen in a mysterious circumstance. It was gathered that the young man who was in the military just arrived from the Boko Haram war zone unscratched only to be shot by unknown gunmen in a few meters to his father’s house.
It was gathered that the incident precipitated the withdrawal of the legal practitioner from the case before the present defense counsel took over. One of the defense lawyers, it was further gathered, was licking his wounds as his name was missing on the list of the recently announced Senior Advocates of Nigeria SAN.
Led in evidence by her lead Counsel, Mr. Leye Adepoju, during the Examination-in-chief on June 5, 2017, Yewande narrated how her late husband met his untimely death on the fateful day.
”We had earlier had a scuffle in which my late husband beat me up and it was settled by our landlord and his wife and my husband had gone for treatment in a neighbourhood hospital, after I had inflicted some cuts on him, because he had pressed me on the bed and continually hit on me.
“This was the aftermath of a phone call I received from a woman on that night who had earlier claimed that he had a child for my husband. My husband has confirmed it and we have quarreled over it, but has settled the issue since she first called me on July 7, 2015.
”However, after some few hours, he became angry again and started hitting me with a plank. He was angry about the wounds and threatened to retaliate. I managed to escape and he still followed me outside with a knife and pressed me to our Landlord’s car.
”Later, I felt that I have been able to push him off me, only to later realise that it was actually our landlord that had helped me out of his grips.
”I rushed to our landlord’s flat and once inside, i turned to see what was going on behind me, only to see my husband coming after me. Suddenly, I saw him falling on his back as he tried to climb the steps to the apartment.
”I rushed back after him and tried to pull him up only to see blood gushing out of his neck. I quickly shouted for help and the landlord and his wife together with his son and a Doctor whose clinic was on our street, tried to apply first aid”.
”My landlady told me my Landlord to take my husband to the hospital, but he declined saying that there was blood on his car and so needed to wash it before he can take it out.
”My landlord and I went to our neighbour, Mrs Olubunmi Onipede, to help me take him to the hospital, but she refused too, saying that I earlier insulted her when she came to intervene in the earlier scuffle.
” Eventually, she agreed to take us to the hospital later I have promised to fuel her car the next day, because she had told us she didn’t have fuel in her car.
”While on our way to the University Teaching Hospital, UCH, as advised by the Doctor inside our compound, our neighbour, stopped at the hospital on our street claiming that we needed to collect a referral, but the Nurse on duty, said we didn’t need one and I also heard the voice of the Doctor in the back ground telling her we didn’t need one, but that we should rush to UCH.
”We proceeded towards the hospital only for her to take Akobo Road, when we got to General Gas Road, instead of the Iwo Road that is shorter, I asked why she was taking the route, but she replied that we must take him to the nearest hospital because it was an emergence case.
”At that time, I still kept calling my husband, ”lowo”, ”lowo” and he was nodding to me even though his eyes were closed.
In response to an earlier statement made by her neighbour, she told the court that it was actually her that was screaming and calling for help when her husband slumped and not the husband himself as claimed by the witness.
When her lead Defense Counsel asked her point-blank whether she killed her husband, she became emotional and said, ”I did not kill my husband. I love my husband, even if we quarrel, it won’t be to the point of death”.
However, she admitted when asked by the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr.S.S. Akinyele that it was the offending phone call from her husband’s lover that precipitated the scuffle between her and her husband that fateful night.
The Presiding Judge, who is also the Chief Judge of Oyo State, after conferring with both legal teams, instructed that the Defense legal team should file and serve its written address on the Prosecuting team on or before June 19, 2017, while the prosecuting team should respond by July 4, 2017, with the response of the defense slated for July 10, 2017, which has been set aside for adoption by the court.