Shina Abubakar, Osogbo
Osun State Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo has threatened to transfer the trial of Dr Rahman Adedoyin, owner of Hilton Royal Hotel, Ile-Ife, over the alleged murder of Timothy Adegoke.
Adedoyin along with six of his workers were docked before the Chief Judge on charges bordering on conspiracy, attempted murder, tempering with the body, extra-judicial oath, obstruction of justice, and murder among others.
The court had adjourned for ruling on the application for amendment of charge by the prosecution, and adoption of written addresses.
But at the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Adedoyin was not in court and according to the prosecution counsel, Fatima Adesina, the first defendant was not in court because he was sick.
She told the court that the ruling can proceed in his absence if the court so deem it fit as she has no objection whatsoever.
However, Mr Thanni Olalekan, who took the brief of Kehinde Eleja, SAN, for the first defendant objected that the court can continue with ruling in the absence of the first defendant, saying section 130(1b) of the Administration of Justice Law 2018 is clear on the types of cases that can be dispensed in the absence of the defendant.
Also, Mr Rasheed Muritala, SAN, counsel to 2nd, 4th and 5th, told the court that the presence of the defendant is sacrosanct in all the stages of the proceedings, hence, urged the court to upheld that the proceeding cannot continue in his absence.
In her ruling, Justice Adepele Ojo frowned that a case she ought to have dispensed within six months is dragging till now, saying she might be forced to transfer the case to another judge with longer year in service or admit the defendants to bail if the prosecution failed to produce the defendant in court on next adjourn date.
She thereafter adjourned the matter till November 7 and 8 for 2022 for ruling of court on application of amendment of charge sheet, adoption and possibly judgement on the substantive matter.