Cynthia Osokogu’s murder case: Court forecloses defendant’s right to file final address

An Igbosere High Court sitting in Lagos has foreclosed the right of the second defendant, Olisaeloka Ezike, to file his final written address in the trial of the four men, who allegedly murdered Cynthia Osokogu in Lagos after being lured by a Facebook lover.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that Osokogu, a 25-year-old lady, was allegedly murdered on July 22, 2012, at Cosmilla Hotel, Lakeview Estate, Festac Town, Lagos, by her Facebook lover.

Ezike, the second defendant, is standing trial alongside Okwumo Nwabufo (33) Olisaeloka Ezike (23), Orji Osita (33) and Ezike Nonso (25) over the murder.

They are facing trial on a six-count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, stealing, reckless negligence and possession of stolen goods.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Justice Olabisi Akinlade ordered the prosecutor, Mrs Bola Akinshete, a Lagos State senior counsel, to file her reply to the final written addresses of all the defendants.

The judge gave this order following the delay by the second defendant’s counsel in filing his final written address after several adjournments had been given by the judge to file the address.

Justice Akinlade said: “I am not going to wait indefinitely for the second defendant’s counsel to file his final written address.

“It is on record that the court has given the second defendant several opportunities to file his written address.

“Since the defence closed its case, he has been unable to file.

“It is obvious that the counsel is not ready to file his final written address. I, hereby, foreclose his right to file the final written address.

“The prosecution should, therefore, file her reply to the final addresses.’’

However, the judge adjourned the case till December 8 for adoption of the final written addresses.

Earlier, the prosecutor had urged the court to foreclose the right of the second defendant from filing his final written address to enable her to file her reply on the addresses.

“Since the last adjournment on June 8, despite the order of your lordship for the second defendant to file his final written address, he has refused to comply.

“I, therefore, urge Your Lordship to foreclose his right to filing the address to enable us make progress in this case,’’ Akinshete said.

According to the judge, the defence counsel was delaying the case which was of interest to the public.