Nigeria News

Funsho Williams: Court Dismisses Application to Collect Fresh Blood Samples

A Lagos High Court judge, Justice Ebenezer Adebajo, yesterday refused an application by the prosecution asking the court to allow it collect fresh blood samples from the suspected killers of the 2003 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Funsho Williams.
The suspects, Musa Maina, Bulama Kolo, David Cassidy, Tunani Sonani, Mustapha Kayode and Okponwasa Imariabie have all been in prison custody since 2006.
 
The state government had in April told the court that the exhibits for forensic evidence collected from the defendants at the commencement of the case including Funsho Williams’ eyes had been damaged due to epileptic power supply.
Consequently, the state brought an application praying the court to allow it collect fresh blood samples from the defendants for forensic investigation.
 
Ruling on the application, Justice Adebajo held that all the legal authorities cited by the prosecution had no relevance to the case.  He submitted that to allow the prosecution go on another voyage of carrying out another forensic investigation would further delay the trial adding that ‘’there must be an end to litigation.
 
”In view of the foregoing, the application in my own opinion lacks merit and it is hereby dismissed,’’ Justice Adebajo held.
Consequently, the court ordered the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Lagos State to file and serve on the defendants, the report of the earlier blood samples taken on the orders of a magistrate’s court.
 
The prosecution had drew the court’s attention to an application dated October 28, 2013, seeking an order of court to take blood samples from the defendants for the purpose of forensic examination.
Objecting, the defence lawyer, Okezie Agbara, argued that the court should not allow the prosecution to re-open investigation at this stage of the trial.
 
He argued: “Since the prosecution said the initial samples have been destroyed by lack of electricity, which samples will they match it with?” He submitted that an accused person should be prosecuted within reasonable time, adding that the matter had dragged since 2007, which he said, was enough for the prosecution to gather fresh samples.
He argued that allowing the prosecution would be a delay in justice, since justice is not only for the state but for the defendants as well.
 
Agbara also submitted that the prosecution’s prayer should be disregarded on the grounds that an attached exhibit marked A, which is a ruling from a magistrate’s court was not signed by the magistrate.
He said the ruling only contained the stamp and endorsement of the court’s registrar, as such cannot be relied on.
Meanwhile, the matter has been adjourned till April 15 and 16 for continuation of trial.
  

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