Immigration officer docked in Lagos court over alleged assault
An immigration officer, Umar Mohammed, was yesterday, docked before a Lagos State High Court sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), over alleged assault.
Mohammed was docked before Justice Sherifat Sonaike on a two-count charge, but he could not take his plea.
His counsel, Ms. O.F Osineye, had prayed the court not to take the defendant’s plea, on the ground that she was not served with the proof of evidence, as well as the charge against her client.
Recall that defendant has been absent in court to take his plea on the alleged charge filed against him by Lagos State Government.
The state government had in the charge marked: LD/120518c/2022, alleged that Mohammed unlawfully assaulted one Oluwafemi Adeyemi Badiru, by slapping him in his office and causing his nose to bleed.
The alleged assault on Badiru occurred on July 30, 2019, at Nigerian Immigration Service, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Following the defendant’s absence in court, the state’s counsel, Mr. M.A Olateju and Mr. Alaba Kuku, filed an application for the court to issue criminal summon to the defendant.
Consequently, the court on January 19, 2023, issued summon to compel Mohammed appear in court to defend the charge.
The judge also ordered the Comptroller General of Immigrations to bring the defendant to court.
With the presence of the defendant in court, at the resumed hearing of the matter, yesterday, the prosecutor, Olateju prayed that the defendant’s plea be taken.
But the defence counsel (Osineye) opposed the application on the ground that she was not served with the proof of evidence.
She added that the defendant was absent in court due to official (national) assignment and prayed the court for a further date.
Olateju, therefore, served her in the open court, but the defendant’s counsel argued that she did not come to court for his counsel to be served.
Following their submission, Justice Sonaike ordered the defendant’s counsel to make an undertaken that her client will be in court on the next adjourned date for his arraignment.
The judge said: “It was a herculean task before the defendant could come to court. “The most important is for him to be here to explain what happened and how it happened.
“The learned counsel for the defendant is hereby directed to file an undertaken at the registry that on April 20, 2023, the defendant will be in court for arraignment or I remand him in correctional centre till the next adjourned date.”
Justice Sonaike, subsequently, adjourned arraignment to April 20,2023
One of the counts read: “That you Umar Mohammed on or about July, 30, 2019, at the Nigerian Immigration Office, Ikoyi, Lagos State, in the Lagos Judicial Division did unlawfully assault one Badiru Adeyemi Oluwafemi while executing his lawful official duty.”
The offence is contrary to Section 173, 174 (e) of the Criminal Law Ch. C17, vol. 3 Laws of Lagos State 2015.