Alleged Murder: Lawyer re-arraign before High Court, late husband family demands private prosecution

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By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
The female Lawyer, Yewande accused of killing her husband, Lowo Oyeniran at Akobo area of Ibadan on Tuesday, February 2, this year was yesterday re arraigned before an Oyo state High  Court sitting in Ibadan.
However, the family of the murdered husband has rejected the prosecution of the female Lawyer by the Oyo State Ministry of Justice where she was a counsel.
Yewande was re arraigned before High Court 1 at 9.10am when her case was mentioned before Justice Mukhtar Abimbola  but  her plea could not be taken because copies of the charge against her had not been served on the Defence Counsel and the Counsel watching brief for the family.
During the re-arraignment, the accused face was slightly covered to enable the Judge to identify her with the lead prosecuting counsel from the Department for Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Tajudeen Abdul-Ganiyu, applying to the Court ‎for a date for commencement of hearing.
Justice Abimbola while considering the application, a misapplication of the Court procedure, directed that such an application could only be honoured after the accused person’s plea had be‎en taken.
The Defence Counsel led by Chief Abioye Asanke, then notified the Court that the information filed against the accused person had not been served him for her to know what she was being charged with while Chief Michael Abayomi Alliu, who appeared as Counsel that watched the brief for the family of the deceased, told the Court he was not in the know of the charge or information preferred against the accused and so needed to be availed of it.
Chief Alliu’s appearance was kicked against by the Defence Counsel insisting that the Court should not allow him, but the Judge overruled the objection.
Justice Abimbola however directed that the Defence be immediately served in the Court after which the DPP Counsel informed the Court that eight witnesses were already listed and ready to testify against the accused person .
‎The Judge then adjourn the case till March 24, 2016 for the commencement of trial to enable the Defence study the information filed for the accused to confirm the charge, in agreement with the parties concerned.
The family of the murdered husband from Gbongan in Osun State, in
a petition dated 15th February, 2016 by their Lawyer, Barrister Kehinde Adesiyan, to the Permanent Secretary and Solicitor General in the Oyo State Ministry of Justice‎, applied for a fiat to prosecute the criminal case, saying that they did not have sufficient trust in the DPP to prosecute the case without bias.
Barrister Adesiyan noted that the petition was not directed to the Attorney General and Justice Commissioner because “we are aware that there is no sitting Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice presently in Oyo State, hence this letter to your office as the present administrative head and accounting officer of the Ministry of Justice.”
The petition read in part, “The family felt that for there to be justice to all stakeholders in this case, it will be fair and appropriate for impartial independent legal practitioners ‎to prosecute this case on behalf of the government of Oyo State. This became necessary in view of the fact that the accused herself is a legal officer not only in the Ministry of Justice of Oyo State, she is an officer in the Directorate of Public Prosecution that is statutorily saddled with the handling of cases like this. Needless to say that the refusal of this application for fiat to prosecute this matter will violate the latter pillar of the principle of fair hearing and natural justice ‘nebo judex in cause sua’, meaning, you cannot be a Judge in your own case.
“In view of the above explanation, we most respectfully ‎apply for the fiat of the Ministry of Justice as private legal practitioners to prosecute this case on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and the Government of Oyo State”.

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