The case involving a lawyer at the Oyo State Department of Public Prosecution, Yewande Oyeniran, who allegedly murdered her husband, Lowo, at Akobo area of Ibadan on February 2, 2016, has been transferred to the state High Court.
On Tuesday, the case was mentioned in Ibadan Chief Magistrate Court, Iyaganku, and although the Chief Magistrate in charge of the case, Mrs. Kehinde Durosaro-Tijani adjourned till March 1, 2016, the police officer investigating the death of Lowo and the involvement of his wife, Amos Adewale, informed the Chief Magistrate Court that based on legal advice from the state, the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case.
Yewande was brought into the court with her face covered with a veil, which infuriated the family of the deceased and their lawyer, Kehinde Adesiyan.
Counsel for the accused, Oluseun Abimbola, however disagreed with the family and their lawyer, saying that there was nothing wrong in protecting her client by covering her face.
He said, “As you observed, the proceeding today was just for mention, basically for the prosecution to report the state of legal advice from the state to the court. That was what they did.
“There was no complaint (from Adesiyan) about the covering of Yewande’s face in court. Maybe it’s a personal opinion of the individual. It is not wrong to cover one’s face in court.”
While stating his objection to the protection offered the accused, Adesiyan said since the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case, there was no point bringing the issue up during the five minute period that the sitting lasted. He however likened Yewande’s veiled appearance in court to a masquerade appearing before the court.
He said, “What happened in court today is that the accused person was presented as a routine to the court that lacks the jurisdiction to hear the case. The case has been adjourned but we have been authoritatively informed that information has been filed before the court that has the jurisdiction to hear the case, which is the High Court. The matter is commencing tomorrow (today).
“The covering of Yewande’s face is unknown to law. It is alien to our jurisprudent. It is just like a masquerade appearing before a court. A masquerade is not a juristic person before the court. We did not raise the eyebrow on this today because we know that the court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the court. When we get to the High Court, I am sure she will not be able to do that.”
Adesiyan said that although an accused person could be protected for fear of being molested by the public, it was wrong to shield the accused face in the court. At the end of the short proceeding, Yewande was taken back to Agodi prison in a prison van with number plate PS 638 A01.