Lagos - The trial of four men who allegedly kidnapped the
traditional ruler of Iba Town, Oba Goriola Oseni, was on Friday stalled due to
disagreement between two counsel over representation of an accused.
The accused - Duba Furejo, Ododomo Isaiah, Reuben Anthony,
and Yerin Fresh – were arraigned before a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere
on Oct. 24.
They pleaded not guilty to an eight-count charge bordering
on conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, robbery and kidnapping.
At the resumed hearing on Friday, Mr Seliowei Baidi
announced his appearance for the first, second and fourth accused, but another
lawyer, Mr Anthony Onwueze, also announced that he was representing the fourth
accused, Yerin Fresh.
Baidi, following the incident, told the court that rules of
professional ethics had been breached, as a formal letter should have been
written to him informing him about the change of counsel.
He said that his professional fees should be paid before
another counsel could take over the case of the fourth accused.
Also Read: Gunmen kidnap Iba monarch in Lagos, shoot wife, kill guard
Baidi read out to the court Rule 29 of the rules of
professional ethics, which provided guidelines on how a counsel could be
disengaged from continuing to represent an accused in a case.
Onwueze, however, informed the court that he had approached
Baidi before the court sitting to inform him that he was briefed to represent
the fourth accused.
The Prosecutor, Mrs E. I.
Alakija, told the court that Section 234 of the Administration of
Criminal Justice Law, 2011, provided for a formal notice to be given before a
counsel could be disengaged from representing a client.
Alakija, who is the Lagos State Director of Public
Prosecutions, urged the court to adjourn the case to allow both counsel to
resolve their differences.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, consequently, said: “Both lawyers
are advised to abide by the rules of professional ethics.
“The case is hereby adjourned till Nov. 11 for hearing. Witnesses must be in court and counsel must
have resolved this issue.”
The prosecutor had, during arraignment, said that the
accused committed the offences on July 16, at Oba’s Palace, Iba Town, Lagos.
She said that the accused conspired with others at large and
kidnapped the Oba of Iba Town, Oba Oseni.
She also said that the accused murdered two persons at the
Oba’s palace – a guard at the palace, one Sunday Okanlawon, and a commercial
motorcyclist, Joseph Okeke.
The prosecutor said that the accused, while armed with guns,
attempted to murder one Abosede Oseni, wife of the monarch, and also robbed her
of her mobile phone.
She said that the offences contravened Sections 223, 230,
297, 299, 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State Ch. C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos
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