13 remanded over attack on Sotitobire church
Thirteen persons were yesterday remanded at the Olokuta Correctional Centre by an Akure Magistrates’ Court for their alleged involvement in the killing of a policeman as well as the razing of Sotitobire Miracle Centre last week.
The accused persons who appeared before Magistrate Charity Adeyanju were arraigned on six-count charge bordering on murder, arson, theft and vandalism.
On December 18, some angry youths attacked the church, which belongs to Prophet Alfa Babatunde, who was alleged of being behind the mysterious disappearance of a one-year-old baby, Gold Kolawole.
The enraged youths, during the attack, burnt down the church as well as the vehicles of members after which they proceeded to the Prophet’s residence where they allegedly looted valuables.
Addressing the court, the Police Prosecutor, ASP Moses Adeosun, prayed that the defendants be remanded at the Olokuta Correctional Centre pending the ongoing investigation into the matter.
The charge sheet reads: “That you Udeme Eyo ‘m’, Ikechukwu Njoku ‘m’, Ayodimeji Jimoh ‘m’, Bamisaye Ojo ‘m’, Balogun Ayomide ‘m’, ‘Steve Adekunle ‘m’, Agbi Sesan ‘m’, Stephen Omotosho ‘m’, Omogbolahan James ‘m’, Ademola Aderibigbe ‘m’, Oluwadare Rotimi, ‘m’, Ayo Ifedayo ‘m’, Samuel Shitu and others at large, on 18/12/2019, at about 9.45 am, Sotitobire church, Oshinle, Akure, in the Ondo State Magisterial District, did conspire together to commit felony to wit: murder, arson, malicious damage and stealing and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 324 & 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol.1, LAWS of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006 respectively.
“That you Udeme Eyo ‘m’, Ikechukwu Njoku ‘m’, Ayo dimeji Jiomoh ‘m’, Bamisaye Samson Ojo ‘m’, Balogun Ayorinde ‘m’, Steve Adekunle ‘m’, Agbi Sesan ‘m’, Stephen Omotosho ‘m’, Omogbolahan James ‘m’, Ademola Aderibigbe ‘m’, Oluwadare Rotimi ‘m’, Ayo Ifedayo ‘m’, Samuel Shitu and others at large, on same date, time committed the offence in the aforementioned Magisterial District, did unlawfully kill Sgt Sheidu by smashing him to death with tyre ream and stones at Sotitobire church, Oshinle, Akure while performing his lawful duty and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 319(1) of Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol.1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.”
Following the arguments of the prosecutor and the defence counsel, the defendants were subsequently remanded with the trial adjourned till January 3, 2020.
Counsel to the defendants, Femi Saliu, who had argued on the need for his clients to be granted bail, told reporters after the court sitting that the prosecution had a lot of defects.
He stressed: “In order for them to put their house in order, they had to come back another day with the application to remand them as the Magistrate Court lacks jurisdiction to prosecute the offences charged. I think for their own safety, looking at the circumstances, they were remanded in prison custody.”
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