Cynthia Osokogu Murder: Judge Accuses Defence Counsel Of Stalling Trial

Cynthia OsokoguThe Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, Lagos Island has accused the defence counsel of stalling the trial of the four men charged with the murder of Cynthia Osokogu.

Presiding judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, specifically noted the attitude of the second defence counsel, Mr Micheal Ajayi, from the chambers of Mike Igbokwe, S.A.N, who failed to show up in court on Friday despite sending a letter to the court for a stand down.

This is the second time that the second defence counsel has stalled the proceedings of the trial of the late Cynthia who was killed in Lagos in 2012 by men she met and allegedly became friends with on a popular social media platform, Facebook.

The prosecution closed its case in proof of the crime on September 19, 2014 for the defence to open its case.

But a string of absence of the defence counsel has continued to stall the proceedings.

The Attorney-General of Lagos, Mr Ade Ipaye, who is prosecuting the suspected murderers of the late Cynthia, had on Monday, May 5, showed the court some obscene pictures of the late Cynthia Osokogu from a laptop.

One of the pictures presented showed the late Cynthia cello-taped on the mouth with her international passport placed on her chest and another was a close-up shot of her private part.

Four men, Okwumo Nwabufo, 34; Olisaeloka Ezike, 24; Orji Osita, 33; and Ezike Nonso, 25, are standing trial for conspiracy and the murder of the late Cynthia Osokogu, a 25-year old postgraduate student from the Nassarawa State University.

Cynthia Osokogu Murder Trial Stalled By Defence Counsel

The Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere on Lagos Island could not make much progress on Monday, in the case of the late Cynthia Osokogu, as the two defence counsel failed to file their written addresses.

The late Cynthia Osokogu, a 25-year old postgraduate student of the Nassarawa State University was allegedly murdered on July 22, 2012, in Lagos by men she met and became friends with on a social media site, Facebook.

Two men, 33 year old Okwumo Nwabufo and 23 year old Olisaeloka Ezike are already standing trial for her murder. They were charged alongside 33year old Orji Osita and 25year old Ezike Nonso, who allegedly aided in the commission of the crime.

The offences are contrary to Sections 221, 249, 285 and 327 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The first two defendants at the last sitting of the court had, however, told Trial Judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, that the Police obtained confessional statements of the crime from them, “under duress”. The case then went into a “trial within trial” to determine the voluntariness of the confessional statements.

After the defence closed its case on November 20, 2013, Justice Akinlade ordered the lawyers to the defendants to file their written addresses before the Christmas vacation to enable her listen to the adoption of the addresses on Monday, January 13, 2014, and possibly give a ruling.

Channels Television Judiciary Correspondent, Shola Soyele, reported that the Judge was angry that despite the length of time, the two defence counsel failed to act on the directions of the court.

She accused them of deliberately wasting the time of the court, and made another order for the written addresses to be filed and served on the prosecution within the next ten days, while the prosecution, the Attorney-General of Lagos State, was given two weeks to file his response.

Further hearing in the case was then adjourned to February 27 for the adoption of written addresses.

Cynthia Osokogwu’s Murder: Suspects Plead Guilty

All four suspects involved in the murder of Cynthia Osokogwu have pleaded guilty to the six-count charge brought against them.

Trial has started in the case of the Nasarrawa State University postgraduate student who was allegedly lured to Lagos and killed by men she became friends with on 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.

All moves by the defence team to stall the trial were frustrated by presiding justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos high court, Ikeja, who promptly took the testimony of the first prosecution witness after the arraignment of the four suspects in the case.

However, all four defendants all pleaded guilty to the six-count charge brought against them.

In her testimnoy, the first prosecution witness, Mrs Ifeanyiwa Njewu, a biochemistry graduate of the Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger state, testified that at the time of the incident, on the 22nd of July, 2012, she worked as the receptionist of the Cosmilla Suites & Hotel at Lakeview phase 1 estate, Lagos, where the late Cynthia was killed.

Mrs. Njewu identified the 2nd and 4th defendants as being present at the hotel on the day of the incident.

The court, however, granted bail to the 3rd and 4th defendants in the case, while the 1st & 2nd who allegedly committed the offence of murder are still remanded at the Kirikiri prison in Lagos.

Trial continues on the 22nd of February.