The arraignment of one Seun Oladapo, the alleged killer of a Lagos-based human right crusader and community leader, Kunle Fadipe, scheduled for yesterday before a Lagos High Court in Ikeja could not proceed due to lack of legal representation for the defendant.
Although the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mrs. Idowu Alakija, had informed the court of their readiness to proceed with the matter when it came up for hearing before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, she however noted that the defendant was not represented by counsel.
“I’ll call my family; I don’t know that they will bring me to court today,” the accused Oladapo told the court when Justice Ipaye queried his failure to procure legal representation. Justice Ipaye therefore ordered the DPP to send his case file to the Office of Public Defendant (OPD) and notify them of the new adjourned date.
She also ordered that defendant should make haste to hire a counsel, adding that court cannot “wait till eternity.” The judge said, “Because of the nature of the charge against you (defendant), court cannot wait till eternity. “You should make arrangement for a lawyer; but if you cannot afford one, you can get one from the Office of Public Defender.
“In order to give him sufficient time to get a lawyer, take the covering letter to the Office of Public Defender.” Justice Ipaye subsequently adjourned till July 22 for arraignment, while ordering the DPP to write the OPD and furnish them with the proof of evidence.
Exactly a year ago, Fadipe was stabbed to death on the night of July 3, last year, by an assailant, who invaded his home in Harmony Estate, Ifako Ijaiye. It was reported that at about 11:30p.m., when the estate was plunged into darkness following power outage, the lawyer sent his son to go turn on the electricity generator.
But no sooner had the boy come out of the house than an assailant, armed with knife, seized the boy and ordered him to take him to his father.
As soon as the man was brought to Fadipe, he stabbed him in the neck and back before his daughter ran out of their apartment to call for help.
One of the security guards in the estate rushed to the scene and as the knifeman was trying to snatch the guard’s gun, another guard came in and shot the man in the leg.
He was eventually overpowered and arrested but not before he’d also stabbed Fadipe’s mother in-law, son and daughter. The alleged assailant was apprehended by the community vigilante group and charged before Yaba Magistrate Court in Lagos following which the matter was transferred to the state High Court in Ikeja.