Bamise: Defence lawyer’s absence stalls proceedings again
The continued hearing on the murder of Bamise Ayanwola was again stalled on Wednesday as defence counsel Abayomi Omotubora failed to appear in court.
It was the fifth time Mr Omotubora, who had been standing for Andrew Ominikoron, the BRT driver accused of murdering Bamise, had been absent since the beginning of the trial.
Justice Sherifat Sonaike of the Tafawa Balewa Square Division of the Lagos State High Court, adjourned the matter till September 29 when Mr Omotubora could not be found when the case was called.
Peoples Gazette had earlier reported that the court adjourned the trial till September 28, following the defendant lawyer’s absence on July 7 and advised the defendant to write to the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) or the Legal Aid Council (LAC) to appoint a lawyer to defend his case.
The judge explained that the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) cannot legally represent the defendant due to concerns of fair hearing of the trial.
Mr Omotubora arrived at the courtroom around 10:00 a.m. after the judge adjourned the case, due to his absence.
Mr Omotubora told Peoples Gazette that the hearing could not be held because he arrived late.
He noted that he came all the way from Ikorodu to T.B.S this morning, adding that he was unable to write to the court due to the distance between Ikorodu and T.B.S.
“My office is in Ikorodu. How would I write a letter,” Mr Omotubora said.
The defence lawyer said that he has “other matters.”
“This is not the only matter, I have to appear for other matters too,” he said.
The lawyer representing Ayanwola family, Ayo Ademiluyi, said that it is “unfortunate” that the defendant’s lawyer failed to appear in court again.
Mr Ademiluyi said the court has ordered that the defendant be represented by the Federal Legal Aid Council for fair hearing of the matter.
“The court adjourned the matter until tomorrow asking the Federal Legal Aid Council to take up appearance and defend Andrew Nice Ominikoron in the interest of fair hearing,” he said.
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