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Court orders arrest of ex-General over contempt, revokes bail

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Justice Hakeem Oshodi of a Lagos High Court, Ikeja, has ordered the arrest of a retired Army General, Abdul-Rauf Tijani, over refusal to appear in court for trial on alleged robbery and attempted murder.

The judge ordered the state counsel to present Tijani after his bail was revoked. At the resumption of proceedings, only the second defendant, Akanni Suada, was present in court, after several adjournments due to Tijani’s absence.

But the state counsel told the court that they were still making effort to arrest the former army officer. Justice Oshodi lamented that the first defendant, Tijani, could not be taking the court for granted.

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“This gentleman is not a spirit. What is stopping you from bringing him to court? You don’t let this man make nuisance of the court. He is not greater than the court,” he said.

The 67-year-old retired General and recipient of Order of Federal Republic (OFR) award was charged alongside Suada for alleged attempt to kill one Maria Febisola by shooting her with a gun.

Lagos State Government had filed a five-count charge against them before Justice Oshodi and they were subsequently arraigned.

Their offence bordering on conspiracy, attempted murder, robbery, assault occasioning harm and killing of an unborn child runs contrary to Section 231, 228, 295, 171 and 234 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

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Lagos alleged that the duo, armed with a rifle, robbed Febisola of N2.5 million and a handbag containing some cash and jewellery worth N3 million. Also, Tijani was alleged to have unlawfully killed an unborn child by causing rupture of the foetus of one Abidemi Ahmed.

However, following their not-guilty plea, the defendants were granted bail, which Tijani jumped. He had since been at large, while the co-defendant always appeared in court

The trial had suffered various adjournments at the instance of first defendant. The judge, therefore, revoked the bail and ordered the first defendant to appear for trial.

Tijani is also having two other criminal matters before the court. Ordered that he be arrested, Oshodi adjourned trial till March 22, 2021.

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