A change of defence counsel in the continuation of the trial of Chidinma Ojukwu, the murder suspect of the Chief Executive Officer of Super TV, Usifo Ataga, stalled proceedings on Thursday at the Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square.
Ojukwu is standing trial alongside her sister, Chioma Egbuchu, and one Adedapo Quadri, on charges of murder, stealing and forgery.
During the trial, counsel for the third defendant, J. I. Osaigede, who stood in for Mr O. A. Ogunsanya, informed the court that the Office of the Public Defender was no longer representing Egbuchu, the third defendant.
Osaigede said the defendant had written to them that she no longer needed their services.
The new counsel, Ngozi Akandu, said he was just briefed about the case and needed time to go through the case file.
Akandu said, “I was just handed the bulky documents this morning inside the court by the third defendant and I can hardly see or read the content.”
He noted that he was ill as he pleaded with the court for time to take care of himself and familiarise himself with the case file to properly defend his client.
However, Justice Adesanya said the counsel should have declined the offer to take up the case since he claimed to be ill.
The prosecution counsel and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Adenike Oluwafemi, said the rule of fair hearing was that litigants were free to get any counsel of their choice.
Justice Adesanya adjourned the case till May 16, 2022, for continuation of trial.