The trial of Ibadan lawyer Yewande Fatoki-Oyediran for the murder of her husband, Oyelowo Oyediran, did not continue yesterday morning as scheduled as prison authorities claimed she was ill and unable to come to the court.
No medical report was presented to the in the High Court in Ibadan, where the defendant works as a prosecutor, in support of the claim.
Yewande allegedly murdered her husband during the second phase of an attack on him on suspicion of infidelity. In the first, she had reportedly stabbed her husband with a knife but he was treated in a hospital and survived. The second attack happened after he returned home to his wife from the hospital.
SaharaReporters learned that the accused murderer has been working to stop her trial from proceeding. While her relatives have been pleading with the family of her deceased husband to settle the case out of court, associates of hers with high legal and political connections are said to have threatened friends of the deceased who insisted on Yewande’s trial.
By coincidence, Yewande, an influential lawyer, is being tried at the same Ibadan High Court where she works as a prosecutor. Sources at the court say she is enjoying considerable sympathy from her colleagues, most of who are standing by her in the trial, making professional prosecution almost impossible, as well as support from the prison authorities who are protecting her.
A legal source in Ibadan told SaharaReporters that Yewande’s absence in court yesterday is part of the ploy to frustrate the court on her trial. The source pointed out that Yewande was unsettled after new evidence was introduced during the last court meeting that is capable of cancelling out earlier plans by her defence team to prevent the emergence of tangible evidence linking her to the murder.
Sources close to her family had told SaharaReporters that there were numerous domestic assault antecedents by the defendant. The source disclosed that a sibling of Yewande’s who boasted in an interview of her sister’s ability to survive her legal troubles has her own history of domestic assaults on her husband.
“Her absence today from court is a premeditation,” the source said, adding that pressures are simultaneously being put on the judiciary in the State to acquit her after a long frustrating trial.
The court, which is being presided over by the State’s Chief Judge, Justice Muntar Abimbola, had previously stated that judgment would be given by August at the latest. Today, however, he adjourned further hearing to October 24. following the absence of the defendant.