The trial of a retired Army General, Abdulrauf Tijani over alleged attempted murder and killing an unborn child was on Tuesday stalled following the absence of the defendant in court.
Tijani, 67, a resident of No. 7 to 9, Ojo Ogundana Crescent, Akowonjo, Lagos, who is a recipient of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), is facing charges before an Ikeja High Court.
The retired General was to be arraigned alongside Akanni Suada on a five-count charge of conspiracy, attempted murder, robbery, assault occasioning harm and killing of an unborn child.
However, only Suada made an appearance in court.
Explaining the absence of Tijani in the courtroom, his lawyer, Mr O.A Afolabi, said that his client had collapsed while in custody at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons.
“My Lord, I inquired this morning about the first defendant from the prison warden and he said he had collapsed.
“He informed me that up till now he hasn’t been fully revived.
“Considering the second defendant, we will ask for another date for arraignment.
“He was willing to come but doctors advised against it because of his high blood pressure.
“In view of the absence of the first defendant it will be difficult for us to proceed this morning,” Afolabi said.
NAN reports that according to the charge sheet, Tijani committed the offences on Oct. 11, 2013 at No. 117, Akowonjo Road, Lagos.
The prosecution led by Mr M. D Adewoye said that the defendants attempted to kill Mrs Maria Febisola by shooting her with a gun.
“At 9.20pm, while armed with a rifle, the defendants unlawfully assaulted and robbed Febisola of the sum of N2.5million and a handbag containing some unspecified amount of cash and jewelry worth N3 million.
“They also unlawfully killed the unborn child of Mrs Abidemipe Ahmed by causing the rupture of the foetus in the womb,” Adewoye said.
The offences are in violation of Sections 171, 228, 231, 234 and 295 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
Section 234 prescribes a life sentence for anyone found guilty of killing an unborn child.
Justice Hakeem Oshodi adjourned the case till March 19 for arraignment. (NAN)