Even the intervention of Bello Okandeji, Deputy Court Registrar at the Federal High Court, Lagos, did not yield a positive report for the reporters. Armed security officials manning the door told Mr. Okandeji they were following “specific instructions.”
At the commencement of trial on December 3, last year, the judge had made an order barring journalists from the proceedings following an application by Ade Ipaye, the Lagos State Attorney-General and prosecuting counsel.
On Tuesday, Mr. Ipaye reiterated his position, adding that if the trial had been conducted in secret, the judgment also ought to be delivered in secret since it was a part of the proceeding.
The judge told journalists and every other person who was not involved in the proceeding to leave the court room.
Others were Danjuma Yahaya, Musa Audu, Mati Daura, Farouk Haruna, Abdullahi Azeez, Ibrahim Bukar and Zula Diani.
The lawyer pleaded not to be named because he was not authorized to address journalists on the outcome of the trial.
The suspects allegedly committed the offences on March 21 last year, at Plot 5, Road 69, Lekki Phase I Housing Estate, and at No. 24, Oyegbeni St., Ijora-Oloye, Apapa-Iganmu, Lagos.
According to the lawyer, Justice Buba held that the prosecution did not establish the charge against the fourth defendant.