Friday, May 24, 2019 11:21 am
An Igbosere High Court sitting in Lagos south West Nigeria today Was told that Linus Okpara, one of the men on trial alongside suspected billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans, had undergone a failed surgery operation.
Okpara is the third of four defendants in the second charge of attempted murder, conspiracy to kidnap and selling of firearms charge filed against them by the Lagos State Government.
Okpara, who like the other defendants, is on remand at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Lagos, claimed that a surgery he underwent while in prison custody had failed.
At the last adjournment day ,Okpara’s new counsel, Mr C. J. Jiakponna, informed the court that his client had a bail application pending because of an unresolved health challenge.
The Presiding judge Adedayo Akintoye adjourned till today for Jiakponna to serve prosecuting counsel, Mr Y. G. Oshoala, the application.
When the case was mentioned , neither Jiakponna nor any member of the defence team was available, following which the judge stood down proceedings from 09:22am to wait for them.
At the resumption of proceedings at 10:05am, Jiakponna did not move the bail application,rather he moved another application seeking an order compelling the Medical Director of the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison to issue a medical report on Okpara’s state of health.
He told the court that the applicant had a failed operation which might require treatment at an outside hospital. If, at the end of the day, the medical report says he can be managed in the prison, we will not be able to move his (bail) application. We urge your lordship to grant this application. The law places a high premium on a human’s life.”
The prosecution did not oppose the application .
“In the interest of justice, we will not be opposing the application,” Oshoala said.
In a bench ruling, Justice Akintoye granted his prayer.
“In the absence of any objection to the application filed on behalf of the third defendant Okpara Linus, the Medical Director is hereby ordered to issue a medical report to the court within the next seven days,” Thereafter, the judge adjourned till June 27,2019 for continuation of trial.