The trial of Sakiru Adeyemi, the suspect in the murder of Khadijat Oluboyo, a daughter of Lasisi Oluboyo, a former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, was stalled on Monday. 

Adeyemi, who had been remanded at the Olokuta Medium Prison, appeared before the sitting Judge, Justice Samuel Bola, for the continuation of the case at the Ondo State High Court. 

Victoria Bob-Manuel of the Magistrate Court in Akure had transferred the murder case to the State High Court after an advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). 

However, the murder case which came up for mentioning at Court 4 of the State High Court, could not continue as the suspect had no legal representation to defend his case. 

SaharaReporters gathered that inside the State High Court, no lawyer was interested in taking the case.

A court clerk told SaharaReporters that some lawyers in the state were approached to take up the case, but they all refused. 

"They (lawyers) refused to take up the case due to the public outcry that the murder of the ex-Deputy Governor’s daughter, Khadijat, had generated," said the clerk

"Some of them also claimed that the families of the suspect are not willing to drop funds to help them prosecute the case in the court.”

Kola Olawoye, Head of the State Counsel, told the State High Court that the necessary papers to herald the case had been served on the suspect. 

Olawoye, who is also the State's Attorney General, said the case is a capital offence and by law, therefore, the defendant must be represented in court by a defence counsel.

"He has constitutional right to fair hearing, but after we served all the processes on him personally, we discovered that he has not gotten legal representation," he said.

"So, it is a must for him, before the next adjournment date, to look for a lawyer of his choice as provided in law. If we come back next time and he does not have one after two adjournments, then the court is enjoined to pick a lawyer for him. We want to know what led to the death of the deceased (Khadijat) and how it came about. We want the defendant to explain to the whole world the part, if any, he took in the death of the lady.”

In his reaction, Justice Bola immediately asked the officials from the Olokuta Medium Prison to meet with the suspect’s family on finding him a legal representative in subsequent trials.

He, however, adjourned the hearing of the case till October 2, 2018. 

Khadijat, a 400 level final-year student of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) was found dead at Adeyemi’s residence on July 2, 2018, at Aratunsin in Oke Aro.

Policemen of the Ondo State Command claimed that Adeyemi and two others, currently at large, conspired to strangulate Khadijat to death. She was buried in his room.

The offence is contrary to and punishable under Sections 324 and 316 of the Criminal Code Cap. 37, Vol.1 Laws of the Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

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