Ademola Solesi, the counsel representing embattled Isese activist, Abdulazeez Adegbola, aka Tani Olohun, has disclosed the reason for his client’s absence in court on Tuesday.
Adegbola, who on October 24, 2023, was slammed with three fresh defamation charges by an Islamic Cleric, Labeeb Lagbaji, received a fourth charge on Friday, following a petition by a Muslim group, Madrasat Muhammad, over claims that the activist burned a Quran.
Failing to appear for a scheduled appearance on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, Solesi explained to PUNCH Online why his client, Adegbola, did not honour the court summons.
According to Solesi, Adegbola refused to sign the court summons sent to him due to his inability to first consult with his lawyer.
He said, “Yes, he was not present in court today because he was not properly served with the court summons.
“He was served. He was given the summon, but he did not sign for it. He requested to speak with his lawyer, and a call was put through for network reasons; the call didn’t get across to me; he wanted to know if he should collect the summon.
“Now the question is, is it right to serve criminal summon to someone already in detention? It’s another thing if he is outside; if he has his freedom, then you can serve him whatever you want to serve him.
“Now he has four cases hanging on him.”
Adegbola was arrested on August 19 and charged to court on a five-count charge of alleged criminal conspiracy, stirring public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, criminal defamation of character, and intentional insult before the Chief Magistrates’ Court.
Corroborating Solesi’s comment, the prosecuting counsel, U.S Imam, stated that Adegbola’s refusal to sign for the new court summons stalled the scheduled hearing on Tuesday.
“A registered organisation called Madrasat Muhammad petitioned Adegbola over his alleged act of burning a Quran; he, however, refused to accept the summon when he was presented with it thus leading to his absence from court today,” he explained.