Law News
Court reopens Funsho Williams murder case

A suit seeking fresh investigations into the murder of a late governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Funsho Williams, was on Monday reopened before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

The applicant, Bashir Junaid, approached the court again after the same suit had been struck out on April 29, 2015 by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia for want of diligent prosecution.

The judge however allowed the suit to be returned onto the cause list after entertaining a fresh motion and argument from the plaintiff’s counsel, Tunji Adesheye, on Monday.

Junaid, a cemetery attendant, who was arrested and detained by the police during preliminary investigation into Williams’ murder, filed the suit seeking a mandamus order compelling the Inspector General of Police to conduct fresh investigation with the possibility of a fresh trial.

The applicant, who is seeking N5bn as exemplary damages, joined a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, and 10 others as the respondents.

Williams, who was strangled to death in his Dolphin Estate residence, in Ikoyi, Lagos, on July 27, 2006, was a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Junaid, in his 48-рaragraph ѕtаtеmеnt of сlаim, alleged that the police disregarded his freely made statement, which could have assisted them to know who killed Williams.

He claimed that the concrete evidence that he tendered was diѕcarded by the Federal Central Invеѕtigаtiоnѕ Dераrtmеnt, Alagbon, Lagos.

Junaid, who alleged that Tinubu used his influence with the police to exonerate himself, equally accused the police of compromise by allegedly allowing the legal adviser to the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Muiz Banire, to change his statement after he had been cautioned.

At the Monday’s proceedings, Adesheye informed the court that in compliance with an earlier order of the court before the suit was struck out, his client had ensured personal service of the concurrent writ of summons on the defendants that were outside the court’s jurisdiction.

The lawyer urged the court to grant the motion seeking to re-list the suit in the interest of justice, saying the defendants would not be prejudiced in anyway whatsoever if the request was granted.

But counsel for the 1st and 4th defendants, Kingson Uwandu, while opposing Adesheye’s submission, pointed out that the plaintiff had yet to pay the N25, 000 fine placed on him by the court when the matter was struck out.

Uwandu said it was improper for the plaintiff, who had failed to comply with an order of the court, to turn around seeking a favour from the same court.

But when probed by the court on when the order for the payment of the N25, 000 fine was made against the plaintiff, Uwandu said he could not remember because he was not with the case file.

Ofili-Ajumogobia, who eventually vacated the earlier cost of N25, 000 made against Junaid, also granted the prayer to enlist the suit.

Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned till September 29, 2015.

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