Briton’s alleged murderers’ case set for address
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Both state counsel Odumbi James and defence counsel Gbuti, are today, June 21st 2012 expected to address the Special Criminal Court before Justice Nkea, in the ongoing murder trial involving the state against three Nigerian nationals charged with the murder of Ian Stokes, a Briton, sometime last month at the Bakoteh Junction Baa, in the Kanifing Municipality.
The development for both sides of the case to submit their oral addresses followed the completion of evidence adduced by the third accused person, Collins Chijioke and his subsequent cross-examination by the defence counsel. At the start of his evidence-in-chief, the third and last accused said he resides in Bakau and operates a barber’s shop in Bakau Mamakoto prior to his arrest and detention. The accused recalled making a phone call to the second accused, Stanley Agbazee, to find out his whereabouts, but he heard someone from the background asking who was calling.
According to the accused, the first accused seized the phone from the second accused and made a request for him (the third accused) to buy petrol and bring it for him (the first accused) somewhere in Serrekunda, which he later knew to be Bakoteh. “I asked the first accused what he wanted to use the petrol for and where he (the first accused) was at the time of calling me. I told him I was not having any money on me to buy petrol and I was also not having any container for the petrol, but the first accused insisted that I should buy petrol for him and bring it where he was. I later bought petrol from a petrol station and put it in a bottle, took it to him where he was. When I approached him (the first accused) he refused to answer my phone calls,” the third accused told the court.
According to him, after he went passed the accused person, he heard someone call his name in a parked vehicle on the road side and upon arrival at the said vehicle, he saw both the first and second accused inside the vehicle, handed the bottle of petrol to the first accused and left without delay, because customers were waiting for him at his saloon and he had to attend to them.
Responding to questions during cross-examination by the state counsel, the 3rd accused insisted he resides in Bakau and has a barber’s shop in Bakau Mamakoto. He said he knows the second accused, Stanley, who also resides in Bakau. He added that he bought the petrol for the first accused, owing to the repeated request made by him (the first accused) and he bought the petrol out of a favour he extended to the first accused.
He insisted he had never been to where he met the first accused and had no idea as to what the first accused wanted to do with the petrol, as he just handed him the petrol and left to attend to his customers in the saloon. According to the 3rd accused, he did not expect to see the second accused where he saw him at that time of the day and said he made series of calls to know where the second accused was but to no avail.
Asked why he did not request a lift from the accused persons sitting in the vehicle after he handed them the petrol, the accused replied that he did not request lift because he was busy with his customers. When asked by the judge what would his response be to the reports that his finger print was found on the glass window of the vehicle in question, the 3rd accused said that might arise at a time when he handed the bottle of petrol to the accused persons sitting inside the vehicle.
Author: by Sanna Jawara