Trial of Unilorin student’s suspected murders stalled for lack of representation
Trial of Eight suspected rapists and armed robbers, who allegedly raped and murdered a 24-year-old student of University of Ilorin, Olajide Blessing Omowumi, could not commence on Wednesday because of the inability of three of the suspects to produce legal representation.
The suspects; Abdulazeez Ismail, Ajala Moses Oluwatimileyin (aka Jacklord), Oyeyemi Timileyin Omogbolahan, Abdulkarim Shuaib (Easy), Kareem Oshioyemi Rasheed (Rashworld), Abdullateef Abdulrahman, Daud Bashir Adebayo (Bashman) and Akande Taiye Oladoja, were scheduled to be arraigned before Justice Ibrahim Yusuf of an Ilorin high court.
Choicereporters recall that the Kwara State Police Command had confirmed suspected rape and murder of a 300 Level student of the University of Ilorin in her residence located at Tanke area of the Ilorin metropolis.
The deceased, said to be staying with her elder sister at Tanke area, until her death was a student of Agricultural Science Department from Oke-Opin community in the Ekiti local government area of Kwara state.
The defendants were brought before the court by the Kwara state government in suit No KWS/33c/c/2021, on 11-count charge bordering on armed robbery, ilegal possession of firearms and rape.
Three of the defendants, Abdulazeez Ismail, Ajala Moses Oluwatimileyin (Jacklord) and Oyeyemi Timileyin Omogbolahan, were said to have conspired among themselves, “to rob one Olajide Gloria Blessing Omowumi also known as “Wumi” (now deceased) of her Samsung Galaxy A2 Core handset and carted away other items, including one black Acer aspire, one series laptop, one Samsung drive, one pink wireless mouse, one white handheld mini sewing machine, one infinix charger and one gold colour wintouch tab while armed with offensive weapon including a black wooden pistol gun”.
The prosecution also accused five others of aiding and abetting the receipt of stolen items which include Samsung Galaxy A2 Core handset and some other computer gadgets being proceeds of armed robbery.
The charge also accused Abdulazeez Ismail, Kareem Oshioyemi Rasheed and Abdulkarim Shuaib of stealing a sum of N116,000 from the GTB account of the deceased.
The count also reads: “that Kareem Oshioyemi Rasheed on or about June 11, 2021 did commit illegal act to with; you received an was found to be in possession of one blue Samsung phone with IMEI 352031/496383/6, one black lanovo phone, one golden Nokia phone with model number TA-1053, one mother board, one blue itel phone, one black hp 15 laptop with model number 15-r002se, one black hp pro book 45ogi with serial number 2CE3481LIP, one hard drive (500gb) being stolen properties”.
The lead prosecution counsel, who is the Kwara state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Salman Jawondo, said that the case could not go on because three of the accused persons have not been able to secure the services of legal representation of counsel.
Speaking to journalists in court shortly after the court proceedings, Barrister Jawondo said that, “The case was slated for the arraignment of the accused persons but unfortunately three of them have not been able to secure the services of legal representation of counsel and under the constitution they are entitled to that since the offence is capital in nature.
“And where they cannot afford that, the state even bound to provide for them. So, because of that, the case could not go on and we have to get an adjournment.
“Two of them said they preferred the state to get counsel for them while one agreed to find one for himself.
“We are hoping that at the next adjourned date which is next Tuesday July 6, 2021, we are hoping that they will get legal representation and the case will be able to proceed.
“Our application for now was to have them remanded in prison,” he said.
Earlier in Court, Justice Ibrahim Yusuf ordered the defendants to be remanded in prison custody and adjourned the case till July 6, 2021.