Barristers & Solicitors
Court suspends murder suspect’s bail, victim’s family withdraws

A man, Afeez Ayodele, standing trial over the alleged murder of his friend, appeared before Justice Sherifat Sonaike of the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Tuesday.

Ayodele was charged with involuntary manslaughter to which he pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on April 30, 2020.

At the trial, the prosecution team, led by M.O. Olateju, said no witnesses were available.

Responding, the defence counsel, Bisade Ademuwagun, expressed displeasure at the delay in the trial, adding that the defendant had been in prison since 2020.

He thereafter submitted a bail application on behalf of the defendant.

He said, “The family of the dead victim wrote to the police to withdraw their complaint. The defendant is the only son of his mother and the deceased’s family agreed that the killing of their son was not intentional. Also, the health of the defendant has degenerated.”

Reacting to the application, Olateju said he could not adopt the bail application because the prosecution had yet to file a response.

Justice Sonaike said she might not grant the application due to the gravity of the offence.

She said, “I have to consider the reasons the prosecution may not want the bail granted. It is abnormal to pick up a knife and stab a friend to the extent that the person died.”

However, she said the court would hear the bail application upon the reply and considerations submitted by the prosecution.

The case was adjourned till July 13 for trial and hearing of the bail application.

Ayodele’s mother, while weeping, appealed to the court to temper justice with mercy.

Culled from The Punch