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Police arraign Aregbesola’s loyalists for alleged assault

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The intra-party squabbles rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State took a new dimension, yesterday, when some loyalists of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, were arraigned by the police before a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Osogbo for alleged assault and conspiracy.

Those arraigned included a former chairman of the party and the incumbent Chairman of a caucus in the party, The Osun Progressives, Revd. Adelowo Adebiyi; Caretaker Secretary of the party, Rasaq Salinsile; former Commissioner for Works and Transports, Kazeem Salami; former Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Biyi Odunlade; former Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation, Gbenga Akano; a member of the APC in Ilesa, Alaba Popoola and another member, Azeez Adekunle.

The defendants, who are loyalists of Aregbesola, a former governor in the state, had been enmeshed in crisis with other leaders of the party, said to be loyal to Governor Gboyega Oyetola.

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They were accused of assaulting two persons, Muideen Ajetunmobi and Usman Lekan, said to be loyalists of Oyetola at the APC Secretariat, Ogo-Oluwa area, Osogbo, on August 14, 2021.

The Police prosecutor, John Idoko, informed the court that the defendants and others at large, conspired, hit the duo with stones and broken plastic chairs that caused them harm on their heads.

Idoko said the alleged offences were contrary to and punishable under Section 516 and 355 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol. Il, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2002.

Meanwhile, the APC chieftains pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

The defence counsel, Abdulfatai Abdulsalam and Muftau Adediran, prayed the court to grant them bail on self-recognisance.

The police did not object the oral bail application.

However, Chief Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara granted Salinsile, Adebiyi, Salami, Odunlade and Akano bail on self-recognisance in the sum of N5 million each.

Ayilara also admitted Alaba and Adekunle to bail in a sum of N5 million with one surety each in the same amount.

He said the sureties must either be a civil servant or house owner residing within the jurisdiction of the Chief Magistrate.

The matter was adjourned to September 24, 2021 for mention.

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