THE premises of High Court 4, Asaba Division was a beehive of activities on Tuesday, as the trial of the alleged killers of Elozino Ogege, the 300 level Mass Communication Student of the Delta State University, Abraka, who was allegedly murdered in cold blood for ritual purpose commenced.
The court was filled to capacity as there was barely space for journalists and other sympathizers who thronged the court premises to monitor proceedings.
The four accused persons were brought to High Court 4, venue of their trial at exactly 10:05am with the 2nd defendant, Ojokojo Robinson Obajero, the 63 year old herbalist who allegedly used the deceased body parts to prepare money ritual concoctions for the Onoriode Enaike and others, including one Emese Emudiaga Kelvin (now deceased), could not come down from the prison vehicle. He is suspected to be suffering from stroke.
It could not however be confirmed by a medical personnel if his medical condition is genuine as some persons who came to court were of the view that it may be a ploy not only to delay the trial but an attempt to attract the sympathy of court to grant him bail.
It took the combined efforts of men of the prison service to carry the 63 year old defendant to the dock where he was given a chair to sit.
The prosecution team from the Delta State Ministry of Justice, led by Mr Omamuzo Erebe, Director of Legal Drafting who led a team of lawyers from the ministry announced their readiness to call three witnesses to give evidence as a demonstration of the ministry’s commitment to diligently prosecute the matter.
However, Counsel to the 1st and 2nd defendants, Samson Chinedozi Okehielem objected to calling 3 witnesses, saying that he could only take one of the witnesses on the ground that he had just been served with the prosecution’s witnesses written deposition on oath, adding that he would need sufficient time to go through the processes in order to respond accordingly.
The court granted his request in line with the constitutional right as enshrined in section 36 (6b) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Speaking to journalists after the close of trial for the day, prosecuting lead counsel, Omamuzo Erebe said that prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendants, adding that government will pursue the case to its logical conclusion and will ensures that justice prevails.
On the number of witnesses and the preparedness of the ministry, Mr. Erebe disclosed that the ministry was ready to call not less than five witnesses to give evidence in the matter.
Others who spoke included; Counsel to the 3rd defendant, Olusegun Ajaiyi, counsel to the 1st and 2nd defendants, Samson Chinedozi Okehielem and Counsel to the 4th defendant, B.O. Okoh from the Legal Aid Counsel who all expressed optimism that their clients will get justice at the end of the trial.