Human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has accused Mikhail Kadiri, the Magistrate conducting a coroner’s inquest into the death of Sylvester Oromoni, of bias.
On Tuesday, during sitting at the Magistrate Court in Ikeja, Lagos, Falana who is the counsel to the Oromoni family said Kadiri was fond of saying the inquest was not a regular Court at his convenience while attempting to let the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions, Babajide Martins, ask a witness questions pertaining to a report that had not been tendered before a court or served on all parties.
Martins had conducted an examination-in-chief on Sunday Soyemi, the Chief Pathologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, who carried out a second autopsy on late Sylvester, having condemned the first one which was done in Warri but wasn’t tendered before the Court.
Falana objected to the question Martins asked concerning the first autopsy conducted, saying the Court should not allow it as the report was not presented before it.
Kadiri reacted, “This is not a regular Court. You are already casting aspersion on the Court and its person. I allowed all parties to speak, I listened to everybody. Learned counsel, I am not a tyrant. I try to listen to everybody.”
“You say this at your convenience,” Falana responded.
“There is no such impression. I’m not questioning you… I have no cause to question your integrity.”
Kadiri said, “If you are not satisfied with me personally handling this inquest, the avenues are there. I fear nobody; I owe my duty to God. Learned silk is saying I do that at my convenience. Take that back.”
Maintained his position, Falana said, “He is speaking on a report that has not been served on us; I have not been served.”
Kadiri told him that if he needed time to review documents, he would grant him that time.
In response, Falana said, “Your lordship, if I have created the impression that I questioned your integrity, I take it back.”
Kadiri then apologised for raising his voice and returned to the examination.