On the 3rd of May, 2018, one Symphorosa, a resident at Lekki, Lagos was found dead with his corpse mutilated and his genitals severed from him. His wife, Udeme Otike-Otibi, a lawyer, was alleged to have murdered him.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos High Court, Igbosere has fixed April 11, 2019 for ruling on the application asking court to reject Otike-Otibis confessional statement. The date was fixed after the Judge listened to the argument of counsel on both sides on whether to conduct trial within trial in order to determine the admissibility of two confessional statements which were allegedly made by her during investigations.
The defendants counsel (Bolajoko) had earlier prayed the court on February 25, 2019 in his application not to conduct a trial within trial. The defendants counsel said the statements were not obtained in accordance with Section 93 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) of Lagos State, 2015. He further argued that Section 93 of the ACJL made it mandatory that the constitutional provisions must be followed to achieve transparency.
According to Bolajoko, Constitution made provisions that statement of any person arrested must be made in the presence of a lawyer or videoed. Bolajoko further succinctly said that the law was made to avoid unnecessary waste of time and bureaucracy in conducting a trial-within-trial to determine admissibility of statements. He therefore prayed the court to reject the alleged confessional statements since the provision of the law was not followed.
Subsequently in response to the application, the Prosecution counsel, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey asserted that the constitution provided that the substantive law be adhered to in determining the admissibility of any piece of evidence. The Director of Public Prosecution further submitted that the ACJL referred to by defendant counsel was a procedural law, which could not supersede the Evidence Act
To further buttress her submission, the DPP cited two decided cases of Court of Appeal wherein the appeal court held that the provisions of the Evidence Act should be followed in proving the admissibility of any piece of evidence. Justice Akintoye subsequently adjourned ruling till April 11, 2019.