Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Ikeja High Court has warned members of the public to stop leaving charms in his courtroom.
Mr Oshodi gave the warning on Monday as the trial of five men charged with the murder of one Ifeanyi Etunmuse began.
“No one should leave charms in my courtroom. It should not be repeated. A talisman was found after the last adjourned date in the murder case,” he said.
The judge, who referred to the charm as ‘property’, warned the courtroom audience: “Do not leave your property here again. It does not work anymore.”
The Lagos state government brought charges against the five suspects: Atunrase Omolabi, Shittu Olawale, Olaide Opeifa, Olanrewaju Adebiyi, aka Maja, and Jamiu Omosanya, aka Orobo.
They were charged with attempted murder and murder of Etunmuse at Western Funeral Home, Ijede, Ikorodu.
Earlier in the trial, the defence counsel continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Babatunde Olayinka.
Olanrewaju Ajanaku, the lead defence counsel for the first, second, and third defendants, and later on the fifth defendant, asked Mr Olayinka if he could say that the defendants had a hand in the attack on the deceased.
He also asked him if he was able to get a view of the compound of the local politician and funeral services businessman, Oluwatosin Onamade, from his hiding place following the alleged attack.
The witness told the court that he hid in the cemetery and lay down for a while to hide from a group of men that he saw wielding machetes at the Onamade compound on the day of the incident, April 16, 2021.
The witness further told the court that, as he hid himself from the machete-wielding men, he turned around and saw a dead body beside him.
Mr Ajanaku asked the witness, “Can you say emphatically that the first, second, third and fifth defendants had anything to do with the body you saw?”
The witness replied that he could not say emphatically that the defendants had anything to do with the body.
The defence counsel to the fourth defendant, Mahmud Adesina, continued with the cross-examination of the prosecution witness and questioned him on whether he had told the court earlier that Femi Onamade, a relative of Oluwatosin Onamade, was the one who knew the defendants in person.
Mr Olayinka affirmed that it was Mr Femi who knew the defendants and Mr Oluwatosin who could identify them.
The prosecution counsel, M. T. Adewoye, re-examined the witness and asked him to clarify what he meant when he told the court earlier that he could not identify the defendants.
Mr Olayinka told the court that he indeed saw the machete-wielding men when they came into the compound.
Mr Adewoye requested that the court issue a witness summons for Mr Onamade to appear in court.
The judge then issued a witness summons for Mr Onamade.
The judge adjourned the matter until February 19, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.
In a previous court hearing on April 6, the prosecution alleged that the suspects also cut off the wrist of Mr Onamade, the younger brother of Tosin Onamade.