Judge’s Absence Stall Cynthia Osokogu Murder Trial

The trial of the alleged murderers of late Cynthia Osokogu was stalled today owing to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade.

The court registrar told lawyers who showed up in court for the case that Justice Akinlade was “indisposed.” The lawyers and the registrar then agreed on the 20th September as the next adjourned date for the continuation of the case.

24 year old Cynthia Osokogu was allegedly drugged and murdered in a hotel room in the Amuwo Odofin area of Festac Town in Lagos in July 2012.

Two men, Okwumo Nwabufor and Olisaeloka Ezike, are standing trial for felony, conspiracy to commit murder and the murder of the late Cynthia Osokogu.

A 3rd man, Osita Orji, a Pharmacist who sold the Rophynol drug used on the late Cynthia to the alleged murderers  is standing trial along with the other two for his reckless and negligent act; while a 4th man, Nonso Ezike, who pawned her Blackberry phone, is charged with possession of stolen property.

Seven witnesses have so far testified on behalf of the prosecution in the matter. Today’s proceedings was however for a trial-within-trial’ to determine the voluntariness of a confessional statement made by the first and second defendants, Nwabufor and Olisaeloka.

Counsel to the first defendant Victor Opara, told journalists after the court adjourned that the police obtained the statements from the defendants under duress.

At the next sitting of the court, the counsel in the matter are expected to argue on whether the statements were voluntarily made or made under duress.

The court would then be saddled with ruling on whether to admit the statement and what evidence to attach to it, and then  the main trial would continue with the prosecution calling its remaining witnesses to establish the guilt of the accused persons.

A post-mortem examination result tendered by one of the prosecution witnesses earlier on in the trial indicates that the cause of the late Cynthia’s death was asphyxia – absence of Oxygen supply to the body.

Cynthia Osokogu: Court Hears Testimony of First Witness

Trial has finally commenced in the murder case of a Nasarawa State University postgraduate student, Cynthia Osokogu who was allegedly lured to Lagos by men she became friends with on a social media platform, Facebook.

The late Cynthia died after she was allegedly poisoned, raped and strangulated to death by two of the men, Okwumo Nwabufo and Ezike Olisaeloka.

Presiding Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja refused all moves by the defence team to stall the trial and promptly took the testimony of the first prosecution witness after the arraignment of the 4 suspects in the case.

The four defendants all pleaded ‘not guilty’ to a six count charge brought against them.

The first prosecution witness, Mrs ifeanyiwa Njewu, a Biochemist graduate of the Federal University of Technology Minna, testified that as at the time of the incident, the 22nd of July, 2012, she worked as the receptionist of the Cosmilla Suites & Hotel at Lakeview, Phase 1 Estate, Amuwo Odofin LGA around Festac where the late Cynthia was killed.

In her testimony, she identified the 2nd and 4th defendant as being present at the hotel on the day of the incident.

Meanwhile, the court has granted bail to the 3rd and 4th defendants in the case. While the 1st & 2nd who allegedly committed the offence are still remanded at the Kirikiri Prison in Apapa area of Lagos.

Trial however continues on the 22nd of Feb.

The four accused persons are facing a six count charge. In the charge, the state alleged that two of the suspects, Okwumo and Ezike on or about 22 July, 2012 at Cosmilla Hotel, Amuwo-Odofin, Festac Town, conspired to murder Cynthia Osokogu.

The state alleged that the suspects murdered Cynthia by administering Rohypnol Flunitrazepan tablet into her drink, chaining her hands and legs and strangled her to death.

The duo were also alleged to have stolen three blackberry phones valued at N150,000, Jewelleries, an international passport and a drivers licence belonging to Cynthia after they strangled her to death.

Orji Osita, the third suspect was charged for negligently selling the Rohypnol Flunitrazepan tablets to Ezike, the second defendant without a doctor’s prescription and without showing due care.

Ezike Nonso, the 4th defendant was the man who allegedly bought Cynthia’s stolen blackberry bold 5 and he was charged for being in possession of a stolen phone.

The late Cynthia is the only daughter of a Retired Major Frank Osokogu.

She was a post-graduate student and the owner of a popular fashion store in Nassarawa state, Nigeria.

Managment sacks hotel workers for negligence over Cynthia’s death

The management of Cosmilla Hotel in Lagos, where the late Miss Cynthia Udoka Osokogu was murdered by some men she met on Facebook, has sacked all the staff of the hotel that were on duty, the day of the murder.

The hotel, which is located at Lake View Estate, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos State, is said to have a tradition of ‘proper screening’ of its guests at the point of checking-in, by demanding valid identification of prospective guests.

The front-desk officer was said to have breached the established procedure, paving way for difficulty in identifying the body of the deceased as her attackers had taken away all items that could assist in identifying her.

The hotel rules demand that guests must present their ID cards or passport before given a room in the hotel.

The fake identities of the suspects had made it difficult for the police at Area ‘F’ Command to quickly solve the murder riddle.

Although only two of the suspects were paraded before journalists at the Lagos State Police Command, two others, Orji Osita and Maduako Chukwunonso, who were the pharmacists that sold the drug, used to sedate the late Cynthia, were on Monday, arraigned before the Yaba Magistrates’ Court with the main suspects.

The case is adjourned to the 3rd of October.

The Delta State-born victim who met her untimely death is set to be buried September 7.

Goals galore at Channels Kids Cup

Kick off of the Straitgame vs Command Primary School

Holy Trinity School from Lagos Island thrashed Lagos Progressive School from Surulere 5-nil to join Command Primary school, Akoka Yaba in the second round of the competition.

Command school had earlier whitewashed Straitgate Primary School 8-nil in the first match of the competition.

Command primary school will now face Central Oshodi Primary School, who got a bye to the second round of the competition while Holy Trinity will take on Ajeromi Primary School.

The match between Highland Primary School and Amuwo Odofin Primary school is ongoing and it will be followed by match between pupils from Ikeja Primary School and Toyibat Primary School.

Caleb will also taste football action when they confront Totland Primary School.

Ago-Egba Primary school-Saint Francis Primary School while the final match for the day will be between Great Jed and TAADEL.

 

Command Primary School celebrating their second goal

Other matches slated 22nd May 2012 are:

9am Winner of Match 1 vs Central Oshodi

10am Winner of Match 2 vs Ajeromi

11am Winner of Match 3 vs UNILAG

12pm Winner Match 4 vs Effortswill

1pm Winner Match 5 vs Kosofe

2pm Winner Match 6 vs St. Bernadette

3pm Winner Match 7 vs St. Stephen

4pm Winner Match 8 vs Great Jed

 

Fashola issues quit notice to squatters under bridges

The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday issued a quit notice to all squatters under bridges and fly-overs in Lagos state.


A similar warning was also given to drivers of tankers and other articulated vehicles parked on roads in the state.

The special adviser to the state government, Hakeem Bello, in a signed statement disclosed that the measure was being put in place to restore Law and order in Lagos.

“Spaces under and around the bridges are reserved to service the bridges…They are not residence for miscreants and those who have no place to live” the governor warned.

Describing the fresh drive as a joint effort between the government and all the security agencies to enforce Law and Order, Governor Fashola stated that “You have seen from Ijora, right through to Apapa to Mile 2 and Amuwo Odofin. You see the impact of the activities of tank farm owners, Port concessionaires, tanker drivers and trailer drivers, all in the name of doing business. But in doing business, they have hurt order businesses…You now see them berthing on the roads, parking their trailers there, defecating on the roads that cannot work. That is a violation of our environmental laws; that is a violation of our traffic laws and we will not lie down and let this happen”.

According to him, “we can do business, but if we do it within the precincts of Law and Order, it will prosper more, many more people will benefit. It is of no use if I have a tank farm and all the trucks which service my tank farm block the roads and then shut down the productive energy of a whole State. That is not good business because you, as a tank farmer may employ one or two thousand people but you deprive two million people from getting to work; or because your container overturns, it kills a whole family, have we really gained?