Judge’s absence stalls Cynthia Osokogu’s murder trial

Cynthia Osokogu

No official reason was given for the judge’s absence.

The absence of the trial judge in the late Cynthia Osokogu’s murder case stalled proceedings on Friday.

No reason was given for Justice Olabisi Akinlade’s absence; a court official merely stated that she was “indisposed.”

The matter was adjourned till April 12 for continuation of trial.

Ms. Osokogu, 24, was allegedly drugged and murdered by her Facebook friends, last July, inside a hotel room in Festac, Lagos.

Okwumo Nwabufor and Olisaeloka Ezike, the principal suspects, had been charged with conspiracy to commit felony and murder of the deceased.

The other suspects, Osita Orji, the pharmacist who sold the Rophynol drugs to the alleged murderers, and Nonso Ezike, who sold the deceased’s Blackberry phone, were charged with reckless, negligent act and possession of stolen property respectively.

All the suspects were in court on Friday, including Mr. Orji who had been out on bail after the judge ruled in his favour, last month.

Nonso, Olisaeloka’s younger brother, who had also been granted bail, but under stricter terms, is still in prison custody as he is yet to meet the conditions.

After the new trial date was confirmed, Mr. Orji left the court with a friend, while the other suspects waited for the prison wardens to take them back to the Black Maria.

The murder trial has seen the prosecution call two witnesses, both of them former employees at the hotel where Ms. Osokogu died.

Chris Obiaka, counsel to Mr. Orji said that the case had been enjoying an accelerated trial as promised by the judge.

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