The murder trial involving the Olukere of Ikere- Ekiti, Oba Ganiyu Obaasoyin, was stalled at the Ado-Ekiti Magistrate’s Court on Monday due to the monarch’s illness in prison.
A prison officer, Mr. O. Osamuyiwa, told the court presided over by Mrs. Dupe Afeniforo that the Olukere was “seriously sick” and on admission at the prison clinic in the state capital.
Osamuyiwa told the court that Obasoyin was to be referred to Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) due to the seriousness of his illness.
The Olukere was arraigned for murder on December 27 last year in over violence that rocked the inauguration of his hotel, Arede Royal Suites, Ikere-Ekiti, on December 23.
He was docked for conspiracy, attempted murder and murder alongside Adewole Sunday, Adetowoju Bode, Kayode Michael, Olowolafe Tola and Aluko Taiwo.
The other accused persons were present in court at Monday’s proceeding.
A heavy security cordon was woven around the court premises by officers of the Nigerian Police Force, Nigeria Prisons Service (NPS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Department of State Services (DSS).
Olukere’s supporters, passersby, security officers, court workers and litigants strained their necks to catch a glimpse of the prison truck marked PS 760 A01 thinking that the monarch would emerge with fellow accused persons. But that was not to be.
People entering the court premises were frisked and asked to identify themselves before gaining entry.
Over 20 vehicles belonging to security agencies including an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) were stationed within and outside the court premises.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Gbemiga Adaramola, told the court that the state was taking over the prosecution of the case from the police.
Adaramola told the court that his office has written for the triplicate of the case file and same has been forwarded to his office.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Ademola Adeyemi, kicked against attempts to read the charge in the absence of the monarch.
But Magistrate Afeniforo said there was no need to raise eyebrow since the plea of the accused had not been taken.
She consequently ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison pending legal advice and adjourned the case till January 19.