Court remands teenagers, 14 others in prison for alleged murder, vandalism, threat to peace in Ibadan
TWO teenagers, aged 17 and 19, and 14 other persons, were last Thursday and Friday remanded in prison by an Ibadan Magistrate’s Court for murder, vandalism and threat to peace.
The accused persons were alleged to have caused a disruptive fracas last Wednesday morning at the Oja Oba area of Ibadan, Oyo State capital, during which one person was said to have been murdered while property running to thousands of naira were damaged and injuries inflicted on residents of the area.
The alleged offences were committed on same day, but the accused persons were arraigned on two different days to allow for diligent process, according to prosecuting officers.
On Thursday, Prosecuting Officer, Oyewole Emmanuel SP, in a seven-count charge averred that 17-year-old Kehinde Tajudeen, who was listed as 18-year-old adult, alongside Bashiru Sodiq (20), Sunday Tope (30), Qudus Olalere (22), Isiaka Olaifa (22), Tajudeen Moruf (45), Kolapo Abdullahi (23), Jamiu Azeez (25), Suleiman Babatunde and others at large “on February 23, 2016 at about 2300hrs at Mapo area of Ibadan Magisterial District did conspire together to commit felony wit murder and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 325 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol. 11 Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000.
The accused were also said to have committed other grievous offences just like their co-accused who were also charged yesterday on another seven-count charges.
Another teenager, Ahiru Amuda, was also charged alongside six others, namely: Sunday Monday (25), Frank John (20), Afolabi Doyin (22), Amaju Ojeh (38), Sunday Olusola (25) and Idowu Olalere.
In their charge sheet, the accused alongside others at large were alleged to have also participated in the murder of one Korede Ibrahim.
They were also accused of robbing the deceased person of about N20,000 cash, while also vandalising a Honda Accord car valued at N58,500 belonging to Ogungbola Mustapha.
The Presiding Magistrate, Alhaja M.O. Akanni, ordered all the accused persons on both occasions to be remanded at Agodi Prison while their application for bail is expected to be heard at the state High Court in the future.
On Thursday, the magistrate, noticing the youthful facial features of one of the accused, Kehinde Tajudeen, asked him about his age.
Tajudeen told the Magistrate that his true age is 17.
The Guardian correspondent overheard a lawyer in a conversation with one of his colleagues, saying that the prosecutor probably raised the accused person’s age to 18 so as to be charged as an adult.
He said: “If not, he will have to be transferred to the Juvenile section to be tried as an under-age, which will complicate the case, especially as he was involved in the murder act directly.”
On Friday, a mild drama ensued during the arraignment of the second batch of the accused persons.
Some of them wept uncontrollably, pleading their innocence of the charges.
One of the accused told the court that he was held when going to fetch water from the neighbourhood tap, while three others said they were in the city for a wedding ceremony billed for the weekend and that they were held despite explaining to the arresting police officers that they came from Ondo State, just two days before the incident to help in the preparation of the wedding.
“Ha! My own is finished. What kind of bad luck is this? I only came to Ibadan two days ago to help the family of the bridegroom prepare for my cousin’s wedding.”
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