NORMAL proceedings of the Onitsha magistrates’ court yesterday came to an abrupt end when news came in that a lawyer, who was rushed to a nearby hospital from the court premises in coma, only a few minutes ago, had died.
Throwing the entire premises into fear, shocked acquaintants and relatives of the deceased who were present when the incident occurred nearly precipitated a stampede in the complex.
All the eight courtrooms in the magisterial wing of the complex, located along the Enugu Road in Inland Town, were all affected by the incident that forced the presiding magistrates to rise midway into their proceedings, just when most of them had hardly started sitting.
The middle-aged lawyer whose identity was not immediately known was said to have come into the complex hale and hearty, and parked his blue Toyota Corolla car in the parking lot directly opposite Court One in the premises. He was said to have immediately started going to Court Four, where he was appearing in a pending case.
According to an eyewitness, the deceased walked along the hallway in high spirits and gaiety but suddenly slumped to the floor just as he made for the door into the courtroom.
Some good spirited people among the onlookers reportedly wasted no time before rushing him to the unidentified hospital. But despite efforts of the doctors at the emergency unit to resuscitate him, the deceased allegedly gave up.
It was not possible to know any ailment with which the doctors diagnosed him, but some lawyers who claim to know the deceased said that he was an asthmatic patient. It was also not known if he did not have his first aid or emergency drugs with him when the attack struck.
Yet, some eyewitnesses expressed fears of a possible onslaught on the deceased lawyer by remote control means or spiritual attack some others – hinging their suspicion on the manner he slumped suddenly.