Stop leaving talismans in my courtroom,” cautioned Justice Hakeem Oshodi of the Ikeja High Court as the trial of five individuals accused of Ifeanyi Etunmuse’s murder commenced.
He expressed concern on Monday, November 20, 2023, as he addressed the public regarding charms being left in his courtroom. “A talisman was found after the last adjourned date in the murder case,” he emphasized, labeling it as ‘property’ and sternly warned against its recurrence. “Do not leave your property here again. It does not work anymore.”
Etunmuse, a grassroots politician from the All Progressives Congress (APC), was tragically killed in 2021 at his office in the Western Funeral Home Limited Cemetery in Ijede Local Council Development Area of Ikorodu during a primary election.
The suspects—Atunrase Omolabi, Shittu Olawale, Olaide Opeifa, Olanrewaju Adebiyi aka Maja, and Jamiu Omosanya aka Orobo—faced charges of attempted murder and murder in connection to the incident at Western Funeral Home.
During the trial, the defense counsel cross-examined the prosecution witness, Babatunde Olayinka. Questions arose regarding the defendants’ involvement in the attack on Etunmuse and the identification of individuals present at the scene.
Olayinka recounted hiding in the cemetery and witnessing a group of men with machetes at the Onamade compound on the day of the incident. When asked about the defendants’ connection to the body he saw, the witness couldn’t definitively confirm their involvement.
Further inquiries by Mahmud Adesina, the defense counsel to the fourth defendant, delved into Olayinka’s earlier statement regarding Femi Onamade’s acquaintance with the defendants.
Upon re-examination by the prosecution counsel, Olayinka clarified his inability to identify the defendants conclusively. This led to a request for a witness summons for Femi Onamade, which the judge granted, adjourning the trial until Feb. 19, 2024.
In a previous hearing on April 6, the prosecution alleged that the suspects also harmed Femi Onamade, younger brother to Tosin Onamade, by severing his wrist.