Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court has warned members of the public not to drop charms in his courtroom amid the trial of five men charged with the murder of one Ifeanyi Godfrey Etunmuse.
Oshodi issued the warning on Monday and warned the public about leaving charms in his courtroom and to not cause a repeat incident where a talisman was found after the last court date of his hearing of the murder case.
The judge, employing colloquial language and referring to the charm as ‘property’, warned the courtroom audience, “Do not leave your property here again. It doesn’t work anymore.”
Earlier in the trial, the defence counsel continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Babatunde Olayinka.
Olanrewaju Ajanaku, the lead defence counsel to the first, second, and third defendant, and later on the fifth defendant, asked Olayinka whether he could say that the defendants had a hand in the attack on the deceased.
He also asked him if he was able to get a view of the compound of the local politician and funeral services businessman, Oluwatosin Onamade from his hiding place following the alleged attack.
The witness told the court that he hid himself in the cemetery, and lay down for a while to prevent being seen by a group of men that he saw wielding machetes at the Onamade compound on the day of the incident, April 16, 2021.
Further, the witness told the court that as he hid from the machete-wielding men, he turned around and saw a dead body beside him.
Ajanaku asked the witness, “Can you say emphatically that the first, second, third and fifth defendant had anything to do with the [dead] body?”
The witness replied that he could not say emphatically that the defendants had anything to do with the body.
The defence counsel to the fourth defendant, Mahmud Adesina, continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witness and questioned him on whether he had told the court earlier that Femi Onamade, a relative of Oluwatosin Onamade, was the one who knew the defendants in person.
Olayinka affirmed that it is Femi who knows the defendants and Oluwatosin who can identify them.
The prosecution counsel, M. T. Adewoye, reexamined the witness and asked him to clarify what he meant when he told the court earlier that he could not identify the defendants.
Olayinka told the court that he indeed saw the machete-wielding men when they came into the compound.
Adewoye requested the court to issue a witness summons for Femi Onamade to appear in court.
Oshodi issued the witness summons for Femi Onamade.
The judge adjourned the matter to February 19, 2024, for the continuation of trial.
The Lagos state government brought charges against the five suspects namely, Atunrase Sodiq Omolabi, Shittu Michael Olawale, Olaide Opeifa, Olanrewaju Adebiyi aka Maja, and Jamiu Omosanya aka Orobo, for attempted murder and the murder of Etunmuse at Western Funeral Home, Ijede Ikorodu.
On a previous court hearing on April 6, 2023, the prosecution also alleged that the suspects also cut off the wrist of Femi Onamade, the younger brother to Tosin Onamade.