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UYO HIGH COURT ADJOURNS TO APRIL 6 FOR TRIAL OF MURDERER OF URUAN-BORN BARBER

By Harrison Essien, Uyo.
The trial of a 32-year old man, Anona Stephen, who allegedly murdered a barber in Uyo last year, earlier fixed for yesterday, did not take place, following the absence of the Defense Counsel, Barr. Chibuzor Odili.
No reason was given by Barr. Odili, neither did he send a representative to the court in a capital offence involving the State and Anona, a native of Njikoka in Anambra State.
The Defense Counsel had on Monday applied to the court for an adjournment to come back and conclude his cross examination of the first Prosecution Witness, PW1, Victoria Willie, who is the wife of the slain barber.
Odili’s prayer was granted and the case was adjourned to Tuesday at 9am.
Everyone was seated in the court, including Victoria, who came with her four year old son, Godswill Daniel Bassey.
At about 10am, when the case was called by the Presiding Judge, Justice Ifiok Ukana, the prosecution team, led by the Akwa Ibom State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, announced their appearance in court.
When it was the turn of the defense counsel, Barr. Odili, he was nowhere to be found.
At that point, the accused person, Anona Stephen, who was brought in by prison officials, was asked the whereabouts of his lawyer and he told the court that Barr. Odili came earlier and left, saying he was sick.
This development did not go down well with the prosecution team.
The Attorney General, Barr. Nwoko expressed displeasure over the attitude of his learned colleague, wondering why he did not inform court officials about his purported illness, but told the accused person and abandoned the case.
In an interview, Barr. Nwoko said if by the next adjourned date, (April 6), the defense counsel is absent again in court, the prosecution team would have no other option than to take the necessary legal opportunity to ensure that justice is prevailed in the matter.
It could be recalled that on the first day of hearing on the case, Barr. Odili from Anambra State, applied for an adjournment to enable him to study the case file.
On the second day, he sought leave of court and requested for an adjournment again for him to come back and conclude cross examination of the first accused person.
On the third day, Odili was absent in court.

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