Ile-Oluji violence: Court remands 15 for arson, attempted murder


scale_of_justiceFifteen people have been remanded in prison on the order of an Akure Chief Magistrate Court for various offences bordering on the violent protest at Ile Oluji, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State last week.

The accused were alleged to have committed arson, breach of the peace and attempted murder.

They are to spend the next few days at the Olokuta prisons.

The suspects, who were arraigned on 12 counts at the Magistrates Court 2, were charged with felony, burning of the palace of the Jegun of Ile Oluji, Oba Stephen Suulade Adedugbe, attempted murder of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the town, Mr Olawoye Ezekiel, and another policeman, Constable Olaofe Bamidele.

The suspects are Akinfesoye Akinfolarin, Sunday Agbeko, Julius Akinbayode, Christian Nnadi, Olatide Daniel, Akinro Adefulire, Olagunju Ismaila, Adebusoye Felix, Dare Owa, Olatunji Oyetunji Bisiliu and Emmanuel Nweke. Others are; Alhaji Taiwo Akinmadeyemi, Jayeoba Akinwale, Akinfade Stephen and Awodeyi Lateef.

Counts one and two of the charge stated that they and others at large conspired together to commit felony to wit arson, causing grievous harm, malicious damage and rioting by setting ablaze an office building belonging to the Jegun of Ile Oluji, Oba Stephen Suulade Adedugbe and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 443(a) of the Criminal Code Cap 37, Vol.1 Lawsa of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

In counts three to five, the suspects were accused of setting ablaze a church building behind the Jegun’s office palace, malicious damage of the doors and windows of the palace of the Jegun and willfully damaging the windscreen and side mirror of Police Armoured Personnel Carrier with registration number NPF 6006 C, the extent of which could not be ascertained at the moment and thereby committed an offence punishable under 458 of the Criminal Code

Among the offences, the accused persons in counts 6, 7 and 8 were alleged of malicious damage of a Ford Bus (unregistered), Toyota Hiace bus with reg No Ondo AE 366 LEL, Toyota Hiace bus with reg No Lagos AX 12 AKD, Toyota Coaster bus with reg No Lagos AP 48 FST, Toyota Hiace bus with reg No Benue XA 261 NAK, Toyota Corolla reg No LAGOS JP 129 EKY, Toyota Previa bus reg No LAGOS MU 519 KJA, NISSAN jeep reg No JEGUN OF ILE OLUJI, Peugeot 404 reg No JEGUN OF ILE OLUJI and Toyota Avalon (unregistered).

Also, they were accused of willful damage of MAZDA Pick-up van with reg No PF 4613 OD, FORD Pick-up van with reg No PF 4639 OD and attacked Mr Hamzat Ameyi, an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Ondo Area Command with heavy stones which caused him grievous harm, thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 355 of the Criminal Code.

In counts nine to 12, the accused were alleged to have taken part in rioting, attempted murder of the DPO, Mr Olawoye Ezekiel and one police constable, Olaofe Bamidele and thereby committed an offence under Section 320 (1) of the Criminal Code Cap 37, Vol 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

When the charges were read to the accused by the court clerk, they pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Zakari Ibrahim, told the court that he has 10 witnessed that would help him in the prosecution of the case, but regretted that it was only the IPO that was present for the arraignment of the suspects and therefore sought for a short adjournment from the court to enable the injured witnesses attend the proceedings.

Counsel to the accused person, Mr Azeez Agbaje, Yemi Salau and Lawal Alabi, pleaded with the court to grant their clients bail, pending the recovery of the said witnesses, promising that they would not jump bail since the matter is a bailable offence.

They noted that the discretion of the court must not be exercised indiscriminately but judiciously.

The prosecutor, however, opposed the bail application since investigation into the matter was still ongoing, noting that if bail was granted to the accused; they might tamper with the process of investigation by the police.

He urged the court the court to discountenance their bail applications.

In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Mr Johnson Adelegan, while refusing the application for bail, said the court cannot shut its eyes to the magnitude of the offence since it was established to dispense justice without fear or favour.

He, therefore, ordered the suspects to be remanded at the Olokuta prisons and adjourned the case till June 7, 2013 for hearing.



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