Law News
OPD to defend suspected killer of Lagos lawyer

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja has urged Seun Oladapo, the suspected killer of the slain human rights lawyer, Kunle Fadipe, to approach the Lagos Office of Public Defender for legal representation.

The trial judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, gave the directive on Monday when the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecutions brought the suspect before her for arraignment.

But Ipaye, noting that Oladapo had no legal representation, said the suspect could not be arraigned in the absence of his lawyer because of the weight of the charges against him.

The judge, therefore advised the suspect to approach the OPD if he could not afford the services of a lawyer, emphasising that the court would not wait till eternity.

Oladapo was apprehended by men of the Oodua Peoples Congress at Harmony Estate, Ifako Ijaye, Lagos on the night of July 3, 2014 after he allegedly stabbed Fadipe to death.

On Monday, when the case was called in court, the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs. Idowu Alakija, informed the judge of the charges filed by the state against Oladapo and sought the permission of the court to take the plea of the suspect.

But Ipaye, who noted that Oladapo had no lawyer, asked him for the whereabouts of his counsel.

The suspect however replied, “I will call my family; I don’t know that they will bring me to court today.”

Consequent upon this development, the judge indicated that the case would have to be adjourned but charged the suspect to, as a matter of urgency, secure the services of a lawyer, saying the court could not wait for him till eternity.

“Because of the nature of the charge against you, the court cannot wait till eternity.

“You should make arrangement for a lawyer, but if you cannot afford, you can get one from the Office of the Public Defender.

“In order to give him sufficient time to get a lawyer, take the covering letter to the Office of Public Defender,” Ipaye said.

She subsequently adjourned till July 22, 2015 to take the suspect’s plea.

Meanwhile, lawyers, community members, leaders, friends and family of the slain Fadipe gathered last week Saturday to relive his memories one year after he passed on.

In attendance at the occasion, where a non-governmental organisation, Kunle Fadipe Initiative, was inaugurated, was a mixed crowd ranging from a sitting judge of the Lagos State High Court, Justice Ganiu Safari, to members of the commercial motorcycle riders’ association in the area.

Justice Safari, in his tribute to the deceased, described him as “frank and friendly.”

Safari added, “When I learnt of his death and the circumstances surrounding his death, I could not believe it until I saw his obituary on the premises of the Lagos State High Court; I still somehow doubted it until I came for the wake keep and saw his body in the coffin.

“One thing I told the people who were speculating was that Alex Fadipe could not have got himself involved in anything that would warrant anybody sending an assassin after him.”

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