Court sets man free in daughter’s murder trial

A man accused of killing his daughter in 2009 yesterday regained his freedom after five years in prison custody.
Gbolahan Babatunde, who has been standing trial at the High Court of Lagos, Igbosere for unlawfully killing his daughter yesterday had his case struck out by Justice Aishat Opesanwo for lack of diligent prosecution.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, the prosecuting counsel, Mrs. C. K. Tunji-Carrena prayed the court for an adjournment due to the absence of the investigating police officer (IPO) they intended to call as witness was unavailable.

But counsel for the accused, Mr. O Ajanaku, opposed the application. He accused the court, of  indulging the prosecution on different adjourned dates when they failed to proceed with the trial on the excuse of absence of their witness in court.
Mr. Ajanaku reminded the court that when the matter came up for trial on January 27, Mr.  Afolabi Solebo, who appeared for the state, promised to come up with the witness on the next adjourned date.

The defence counsel also the court that the accused unintentionally caused the death of his own daughter.
According to him, the deceased was trying to escape from the accused who wanted to discipline her after she misbehaved, but unfortunately hit her head against the door.

He said that the accused, who he described as an indigent living by a dumpsite, later called for help from neighbours to take the daughter to hospital, where she later died.
The defence counsel prayed the court to strike out the matter pending when the prosecution would be ready to prove their case against his client.
While reviewing the history of the case, Justice Opesanwo noted that the accused, who was first arraigned in 2012, had been in prison custody since he was arrested in 2009.

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