The trial of Moses Oko who allegedly killed his girlfriend Jennifer Anthony, a 300 level student of UNIJOS in a hotel room for ritual in January this year has commenced with a drama.
When the case was mentioned for trial at the Plateau state high court sitting in Jos the State capital, the suspect suddenly went mute.
The development made it difficult for the presiding judge, Justice Paul Gang, to properly arraign the suspect.
He was brought to the court at about 9:20am in a green colored truck escorted by armed squad of Jos correctional center .
The suspect, Moses Oko alighted from the truck in hand cuffs and was closely led into the court room by two correctional officials.
While waiting for his case to be called by the court clerk, his counsel allegedly tutored him on what to plead.
His lawyer, it was gathered, showed him the allegations against him to go through to enable him understand the charges against him.
His mother later joined the counsel in court about 50 minutes later.
The case file was called at about 10:15am.
The prosecuting counsel Barr N Jesse while announcing appearance reported to the court that the suspect insisted he will not appear in court unless his father and mother are in court.
She therefore expressed happiness that the parents were in court and the trial should commence, saying the case was for arraignment.
Counsel to the defendant, Barr. Alex Mulleng also announced his appearance and readiness to commence the trial.
However, the suspect went mute when the trial commence. He never responded to the court Clark who tried to administered the oath on him. He was starring at every one in the court. He look confused.
While the court stood amazed at his action of the suspect, his counsel, Alex Mulleng informed the court that his client is mentally unstable due to the weight of charges slammed on him by the prosecutor.
Mulleng said, “My Lord, my client has been showing unstable mental conditions of recent. This is probably because of the weight of charges slammed on him by the prosecutor. You know, considering his age, it was difficult for him to bear such heavy charges and that probably is responsible for his strange behaviors”
But the prosecuting counsel N. Jesse argued that the defendant and his counsel were acting a script.
Jesse said, “My Lord, it is obvious that my learned colleague and his client are just staging a drama. How will the suspect suddenly became dump and deaf when everyone saw him talking with his parents and his lawyer few minutes ago.
“My Lord, you over heard them talking with him and you had to call them to order few minutes ago. So, how come someone you saw talking five minutes ago suddenly became dumb.
“The medical examination carried out on the suspect in a hospital by medical doctors shows the suspect was in perfect mental condition. The evidence of his medical report is in the case file before the court”
The defense counsel however said, “The mental conditions of my client as the court can see goes contrary to the medical report. My client is seeing different kinds of spirits from time to time, and that has made his mental state to flunctuate”
Presiding judge Justice Paul Gang eventually ruled that in the case file before the court shows the suspect is in stable mental conditions.
He said, ‘From the record before this honourable court, there is no report of abnomality. The statement of the defendant before the court also confirmed to the court that the defendant is in the right senses, as such the trial will commence accordingly”
The court then ordered the Clark to read out the charges to the defendant.
The charges, “mischief and culpable homicide” was read to him and the court asked if he was guilty or not. But the suspect never responded as he remain mute starring at the judge. The charges was read to him a second time even as he remain mute.
The court thereafter adjourned the case to the 3rd and 4th of March for hearing while the suspect remain in prison.
The defense counsel did not attempt to apply for bail knowing fully well the enormity of the charges.