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419: Okoro carried to court in stretcher... Counselís absence stalls trial

Posted by By OLA AGBAJE and LUKMAN OLABIYI on 2005/04/21 | Views: 499 |

419: Okoro carried to court in stretcher... Counselís absence stalls trial


Lagos based hotelier and an alleged 419 Kingpin, Augunos Okoro appears to be on danger list as he was brought to court Wednesday on a Stretcher with drips attached to sustain him.

Lagos based hotelier and an alleged 419 Kingpin, Augunos Okoro appears to be on danger list as he was brought to court Wednesday on a Stretcher with drips attached to sustain him.

His counsel, Kemi Pinheiro was also conspicously absent, a situation which led to the inability of the court to proceed with the trial, though the witness who came from Germany was in court.

Okoro is facing 38-count charge before Justice Joseph Oyewole of Ikeja High Court for his alleged role in the swindling of a German businessman, Richard Munch to the tune of $330,000 sometime in 1992.

There was a mild drama when the court inquired from the supposed nurse to identify herself, she could not produce her identity card but said that she came from Milverton Hospital at Ojo Road.

Not impressed with the development, Rotimi Jacobs the prosecutor drew the attention of the court to the travail of the German complaint and witness, Richard Munch, who he said had, visited Nigeria three times to give evidence without making any headway.

He argued that the defence counsel was merely trying to frustrate the trial. "My lord Pinheiro has withdrawn earlier from the case but when he discovered that the matter has been re-assigned to you, he came back again. Today, he said the case should be stood down till 12 noon. This is 2.00pm, we are yet to hear anything from him. Even if something has gone wrong, he is suppose to send his junior to come and inform the court".

In a short ruling, Justice Oyewole said that the accused was granted bail on health ground five months ago to enable him take care of himself.

He, however noted that, though the accused was carried to the court and somebody in white was attending to him, "The court does not know the identity of that person attending to him. And there was nothing before the court to show the state of health of the accused person. Though the defence counsel requested that the case be stood down, he has not shown up, thereby forcing an adjournment.

"Having been granted bail, the accused has responsibility to take care of his health. The court will grant an adjournment to enable him take proper care of himself.
The matter is therefore adjourned to 20, 21, 22, 23 and 24 of June for trial", he said.

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