An Igbosere High Court in Lagos yesterday heard that Linus Okpara, one of the men on trial alongside suspected billionaire kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike alias Evans, had allegedly undergone a failed surgery.
Okpara is the third of four defendants in the second attempted murder, conspiracy to kidnap and selling of firearms charge filed against them by the Lagos State Government before Justice Adedayo Akintoye.
Okpara, who like the other defendants, is on remand at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison, Lagos, claimed that a surgery he underwent while in prison custody had failed.
Our correspondent learnt that he recently underwent a hernia surgery.
At the last adjournment last Thursday, Okpara’s new counsel, Mr C. J. Jiakponna, informed the court that his client had a bail application because of an unresolved health challenge.
The judge adjourned till yesterday for Jiakponna to serve prosecution counsel, Mr Y. G. Oshoala, the application.
When the case was called yesterday, a limping, visibly distressed Okpara and the other defendants filed into the dock, but neither Jiakponna nor any member of the defence team was available.
The judge stood down proceedings at 09:22am to wait for them.
At the resumption of proceedings at 10:05am, Jiakponna did not move the bail application.
Rather he moved another application seeking an order compelling the Medical Director of the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison to issue a medical report on Okpara’s state of health.
“The application had a failed operation which might require treatment at an outside hospital. If, at the end of the day, the medical report says he can be managed in the prison, we will not be able to move his (bail) application.
“We urge your lordship to grant this application. The law places a high premium on a human’s life.”
The prosecution did not challenge him.
“In the interest of justice, we will not be opposing the application,” Oshoala said.
In a bench ruling, Justice Akintoye granted his prayer.
“In the absence of any objection to the motion filed on behalf of third defendant Okpara Linus, the Medical Director is hereby ordered to issue a medical report to the court within the next seven days,” she said.
The case continues on June 27.