Timothy Adegoke: Prosecution, defendants bicker over amendment of charges
The prosecution in the murder trial of Dr. Rahmon Adedoyin, the owner of Hilton Honours Hotel, Ile-Ife and six of his workers at Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, yesterday, applied for amendment of the charges.
The defendants were charged with the murder of a postgraduate student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Timothy Adegoke.
A member of the prosecuting team from Femi Falana Chambers, Fatima Adesina, told the court to accommodate the amendment to complement already established evidence.
Adedoyin and six of his workers, including Magdalene Chiefuna, Adeniyi Aderogba, Oluwole Lawrence, Oyetunde Kazeem, Adebayo Kunle, Adedeji Adesola, and others still at large are being prosecuted on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, murder, attempted felony, unlawful interference with a dead body, altering and intent to destroy evidence levelled against them by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
When the matter resumed yesterday for the adoption of final written addresses, Adesina, who told the court of Femi Falana’s absence, informed of an application seeking leave of the court to amend the charge before it.
The charge, which had already been amended, was dated February 22, 2022, and filed on March 2, 2022, but the prosecution in an 18-paragraph application dated June 14, sought to further amend and substitute the charge.
But, counsel to Adedoyin, Mr Kehinde Eleja, and three others, including Kunle Adegoke, Rowland Otaru, Okon Edet, urged the court to discountenance the application as it amounts to abuse of court process.
They said the prosecution has not controverted that the case is in the Appeal Court with regards to the earlier amended charge, hence they urged the court to treat the application as mere paperwork that lacks legal implication.
While urging the court to dismiss the application for amendment of the charge, the defendants’ counsel said allowing it would amount to ambushing the proceeding.
After arguments by parties on points of law, the court adjourned the matter till July 14 for ruling on the application before it, as well as the adoption of final written addresses.