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Update On Offa Robbery Suspects' Trial In Kwara

Absence of defence counsel Mathias Emeribe yesterday stalled the continuation of hearing of the Offa robbery suspects at the Kwara State High Court, Ilorin.

The case had been adjourned till February 19 and 20 for continuation of examination of witnesses by the prosecution. The accused, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran were in court yesterday.

Prosecution counsel Prof Wahab Egbewole told the court that
Mr. Emeribe called and sent text message to him on what he described as “life threatening experience on the road” and suggested adjournment, which the court reluctantly agreed with.

Justice Halima Saleeman expressed disappointment about the absence of the defence counsel.

She said the prosecution counsel should have asked for details of the “life threatening experience” of the defence counsel.

“Does it mean that he won’t step out of his room till after the national elections? I can’t fathom this excuse and explanation, for someone to sit in the comfort of his house and be sending text messages. This court is only interested in timely dispensation of the matter and any delay can put the court in jeopardy,” the judge said.
She, thereafter, adjourned hearing till March 14 and 15.

Addressing reporters after the sitting, Prof. Egbewole said the defence counsel called him on Sunday and also sent a text message to him on Tuesday that he could not be in court, suggesting a date after the elections.

He said: “This is just to show on the part of the prosecution that we’ve arranged our witnesses because we have them here from Plateau and Zamfara states, to ensure that the matter proceeds. But here we are.”

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