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Court remands alleged killers of Afenifere leader’s daughter in correctional facility

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Suspected killers of Funke Olakunrin – Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State (left), Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State arraigned by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State…yesterday. PHOTO: SAM OLUSEGUN


Four suspected killers of late Mrs Olufunke Olakunri, the daughter of Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti, were yesterday arraigned before an Akure Magistrate Court, which ordered their remand in Owo Correctional Centre.

The suspects, who were arraigned on a three-count charge of conspiracy to kill, murder and kidnapping included, Awalu Abubakar (25), Muhammed Shehu (26), Mazaje Lawal (40) and Adamu Adamu (60).

The charges, which were read in English and interpreted to the defendants in Hausa language, states: “That Mohammed Shehu Is an, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/ljebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire together to commit felony to wit: Murder and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 Of Criminal Code, Cap 37; Vol. I, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

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“That Mohammed Shehu Is an, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/Ijebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did murder one Olufunke Olakunrin (Nee Fasoranti) ‘f’ aged 58 years contrary to and punishable under Section 316 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

“That Mohammed Shehu Is an, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/ljebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did murder one Ogunbiyi Matthew ‘m’ aged 65 years contrary to and punishable under Section 316 of the Criminal Code, Cap36, Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.”

Meanwhile, the four murder suspects had no representation in court but pleaded not guilty to all the charges pressed against them. The Ondo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye, who represented the state, declared that the state government was ready to take over the case.

He urged the court to rely on the statement deposed by an official of FSARs, Akeem Ogunjobi, who prayed that the suspects should be remanded at the Correctional Centre in Owo because Akure Correctional facility was over stretched.

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He also pleaded with the court to allow the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to conduct COVID-19 test on the defendants before moving them to the Correctional Centre.

According to him, the test was necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the globe. He said the health status of the four accused persons must be ascertained in order not to infect other inmates at the facility.

Magistrate Victoria Bob-Manuel, in her ruling, granted the prayers of the prosecuting counsel and remanded the accused at Owo Correctional facility. She also ordered that their samples must be tested before being remanded at the centre.

Bob-Manuel, however, disclosed that the court lacks the jurisdiction to try the defendants but adjourned the case to June 3, 2020, for the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution.

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