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Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, over the alleged abduction of 14-year-old Ese Oruru, has adjourned trial until May 12, 2016 to determine ruling on secret trial for Ese.
The court said on Tuesday that the adjournment was to enable it to rule on the application of the prosecution counsel seeking private trial for Ese.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Aliya Nganjiwa, who adjourned the case, said the court would rule on the application on the next adjourned date.
Nganjiwa said that the court was ready to ensure that justice prevailed on the matter.
The police prosecution counsel, Keneth Dike, who filed the application to the court, said the motion for the application was to take the evidence of the victim (Ese) in private.
Dike said what the prosecution was seeking was the constitutional right of the victim (Ese) for “fair trial.”
“In the interest of justice, we must protect her image and future; we are seeking the leave of the court to take the evidence of the victim in private, excluding every other persons except the parties and the counsel,” he said.
But the lead defence counsel, Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, who opposed the application of the prosecution counsel, said there was no merit in taking evidence in private.
He explained that the pictures of the victim, Ese Oruru, were already all over the Internet, print and electronic media.
In an interview outside the court room, Olaosebikan said, “What we have just told the court is that basically what they are seeking to prevent has already happened. The prosecution is saying that they do not want the media to be in the know, they do not want the face of the girl to be in the media, they do not want the media to cover Ese’s trial.
“But our own position is that that ship has already sailed; the face of the girl is already in all media outlets you can see in this world. If you log on to the Internet now, you will be amazed. The last time I checked, I was shocked. Just typed ‘Ese Oruru’, I had over 95,000 links. So, what are they now coming to tell us that they do not want the girl’s face in the media.”
He said even the picture the girl took before the incident happened was already in the media, adding that he had an audio copy of an interview she (Ese) granted to a media outfit in Abuja.
“So, all those things they are saying that they do not want the face in the media is too late.”
On the bail for his client (Yunusa Dahiru), Olaosebikan expressed worry over the conditions of the court, saying that they had yet to meet his bail requirements.
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Source: Punch News