Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Ikeja High Court has warned the public to stop leaving charms in his courtroom.
Oshodi gave the warning on Monday as the trial of five men accused of the murder of Ifeanyi Etunmuse began.
“No one should leave charms in my courtroom. It should not be repeated. A talisman was found after the latest adjournment of the murder case,” she said.
The judge, who referred to the amulet as ‘property’, warned those in the courtroom: “Do not leave your property here again. It does not work any more.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos State Government has charged the five suspects; Atunrase Omolabi, Shittu Olawale, Olaide Opeifa, Olanrewaju Adebiyi alias Maja and Jamiu Omosanya alias Orobo.
They were charged with attempted murder and murder of Etunmuse at Western Funeral Home, Ijede Ikorodu.
At the beginning of the trial, the defense lawyer continued his cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Babatunde Olayinka.
Olanrewaju Ajanaku, the lead defense counsel for the first, second and third accused and later for the fifth accused, asked Mr Olayinka if he could say that the accused participated in the attack on the deceased.
He also asked if he could see the compound of local politician and funeral businessman, Oluwatosin Onamade, from his hiding place after the alleged attack.
The witness told the court that he hid in the cemetery and lay down for a while to hide from a group of men he saw wielding machetes in the Onamade compound on the day of the incident, April 16, 2021.
The witness further told the court that while he was hiding from the machete-wielding men, he turned around and saw a dead body next to him.
Mr Ajanaku asked the witness: “Can you say emphatically that the first, second, third and fifth accused had anything to do with the body you saw?”
The witness responded that he could not say emphatically that the accused had anything to do with the body.
The fourth accused’s defense lawyer, Mahmud Adesina, continued his cross-examination of the prosecution witness and asked him if he had previously told the court that Femi Onamade, a relative of Oluwatosin Onamade, was the one who knew the accused in person.
Olayinka claimed that it was Femi who knew the accused and Oluwatosin who could identify them.
The prosecutor, MT Adewoye, cross-examined the witness and asked him to clarify what he meant when he had earlier told the court that he could not identify the accused.
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Olayinka told the court that he indeed saw the men with machetes when they entered the compound.
Mr. Adewoye asked the court to summon Femi Onamade as a witness to appear in court.
The judge then called Femi Onamade as a witness.
The judge adjourned the matter until February 19, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.
In a previous court hearing on April 6, the prosecution had alleged that the suspects also cut the wrist of Femi Onamade, the younger brother of Tosin Onamade.