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’s murder: Pharmaceutical group petitions prosecutor over member’s trial

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN), has petitioned the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, to properly review the murder case of Cynthia Osogoku to ensure that pharmacists were not persecuted wrongly.

The four suspects accused of killing Cynthia, who they met on Facebook

The national president of PSN, Mr. Azubike Okwor told journalists on Thursday that if the suspects were not found guilty of the crime of rape and armed robbery, they should be handed over to the Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria, (PCN), for proper discipline for selling drugs without prescription.

Mr Okwor says that if the liability of the two pharmacists was limited to the sales or alleged sale of Rohypnol to clients they do not know and never collaborated in the condemnable crime.

He noted that it would be logical to believe there might have been breaches of professional ethics, adding  that the law provides that such matters to be dealt with by the Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria.

Four suspects were on Monday arraigned before a Yaba Magistrate Court for killing 24-year old Cynthia Osokogu, who they met on social media platform.

The suspects, Okwumo Nwabufo,  Ezeike Olisaeloka, Orji Osita and the pharmacists that sold the drug, Rohypnol Flunitrapezam-Maduakor Chukwunonso,  are standing trial on an eight-count of felony, conspiracy, robbery and murder.

Police arraign four persons over Cynthia’s murder

Four suspects were on Monday arraigned before a Yaba Magistrate Court for killing 24-year old Cynthia Osokogu, who they met on social media platform.

The suspects, Okwumo Nwabufo,  Ezeike Olisaeloka, Orji Osita and Maduakor Chukwunonso,  are standing trial on an eight-count of felony, conspiracy, robbery and murder.

Their charge sheet states that the suspects killed the deceased by administering her with Rohypnol Flunitrapezam, binding, torturing, and strangling her.

It also adds that the suspects, along with some others at large, raped and robbed the deceased of valuables that included an international passport, a mobile phone, shoes, bags, wristwatches and jewellery.

The first and second defendants, Okwumo and Ezike, had earlier been paraded by the state police command, where they admitted to luring Cynthia to Lagos via facebook.

They also admitted to drugging, binding, assaulting and killing her.

At the sitting, Magistrate P. Adekomaiya asked the Police Prosecutor, Chukwu Agwu, to forward the case file to the Director of Public Prosecutors (DPP).

Mr Adekomaiya adjourned the case to October 3, 2012 for mention, pending the advice of the DPP.

UNILAG disowns alleged Facebook killer

Meanwhile the management of University of Lagos has disowned media reports identifying one of the suspects in the murder of Cynthia Osokogu, as a 300 level Accounting Student of its distance learning institute.

In a statement on Monday, the university authorities stated that since the news of the alleged involvement of Okwoma Nwabufor in Cynthia’s murder broke; it has conducted an evaluation of students’ records and found the suspect’s claim of being a student of UNILAG untrue.

The management of the institution is therefore asking all media organizations to note this fact and disregard the claim of the suspect, Mr. Nwabufor associating him with the University of Lagos in any way.