Justice Hakeem Oshodi of an Ikeja High Court has issued a stern warning to members of the public to desist from leaving charms in his courtroom.
Oshodi gave the warning on Monday, November 20, 2023, as the trial of five men charged with the murder of one Ifeanyi Etunmuse, began.
“No one should leave charms in my courtroom. It should not be repeated. A talisman was found after the last adjourned date in the murder case,” he said.
The judge, who referred to the charm as ‘property’, warned the courtroom audience, “Do not leave your property here again. It does not work anymore.” Etunmuse, a grassroots politician and member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was killed in 2021, in his office at the Western Funeral Home Limited Cemetery in Ijede Local Council Development Area of Ikorodu at the heat of the primary election.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Lagos State Government brought charges against the five suspects: Atunrase Omolabi, Shittu Olawale, Olaide Opeifa, Olanrewaju Adebiyi aka Maja, and Jamiu Omosanya aka Orobo.
They were charged with attempted murder and murder of Etunmuse at Western Funeral Home, Ijede Ikorodu.
Earlier in the trial, the defence counsel continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Babatunde Olayinka.
Olanrewaju Ajanaku, the lead defence counsel to the first, second, and third defendants and later on the fifth defendant, asked Olayinka if he could say that the defendants had a hand in the attack on the deceased.
He also asked him if he was able to get a view of the compound of the local politician and funeral services businessman, Oluwatosin Onamade, from his hiding place following the alleged attack.
The witness told the court that he hid in the cemetery and lay down for a while to hide from a group of men that he saw wielding machetes at the Onamade compound on the day of the incident, April 16, 2021.
The witness further told the court that as he hid himself from the machete-wielding men, he turned around and saw a dead body beside him.
Ajanaku asked the witness, “Can you say emphatically that the first, second, third and fifth defendant had anything to do with the body you saw?”
The witness replied that he could not say emphatically that the defendants had anything to do with the body.
The defence counsel to the fourth defendant, Mahmud Adesina, continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witness and questioned him on whether he had told the court earlier that Femi Onamade, a relative of Oluwatosin Onamade, was the one who knew the defendants in person
Olayinka affirmed that it was Femi who knew the defendants and Oluwatosin who could identify them.
The prosecution counsel, Mr. M. T. Adewoye, re-examined the witness and asked him to clarify what he meant when he told the court earlier that he could not identify the defendants.
Olayinka told the court that he indeed saw the machete-wielding men when they came into the compound.
Adewoye requested the court to issue a witness summons for Femi Onamade to appear in court.
The judge, then issued a witness summons for Femi Onamade.
The judge adjourned the matter until Feb. 19, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.
On a previous court hearing on April 6, the prosecution had alleged that the suspects also cut off the wrist of Femi Onamade, the younger brother to Tosin Onamade.