The Lagos State Government on Monday arraigned the key suspects arrested in connection with the kidnap of Oniba of Iba Town, Oba Yishau Goriola Oseni, before a Lagos High Court in Igbosere.
The suspects – Duba Furejo, Ododomo Isaiah, Reuben Anthony and Yerin Fresh – were arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo on an eight-count criminal charge of conspiracy to murder, murder, armed robbery and Kidnapping.
The suspects, who allegedly carried out the crime on July 16, 2016 at the palace of the monarch, were said to have murdered a security detail attached to the palace, Sunday Eniola Okanlawon, and a commercial motorcycle rider, Joseph Okeke.
They were also said to have attempted to kill the monarch’s wife, Olori Abosede Oseni, while making efforts to dispossess her of her property at gun point.
When the case was called, the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, who led the prosecution, informed Justice Taiwo of a criminal charge filed against the accused, and expressed his readiness to proceed with arraignment, a request which was granted by the court.
In count one, Furejo, Isaiah and Anthony were accused of conspiring with others now at large to commit murder contrary to Section 233 of 2015 Criminal Laws of Lagos State C.17, Vol. 3, while in counts two and three, the suspects were accused of murder contrary to the same law.
In count four, the accused allegedly attempted to kill the wife of the monarch contrary to Section 230 of the law, while in count five, the accused with others now at large, conspired to rob Olori Abosede of her mobile phone.
In count six, the suspects were accused of armed robbery contrary to Section 297 (2) (b) of the law, while in counts seven and eight, they were said to have conspired to kidnap Oba Oseni at gun point contrary to Section 411 of the law.
After the charges were read to them, they all pleaded not guilty, while the Attorney General urged the court to remand them in prison pending trial.
Justice Taiwo, in a brief ruling, remanded the accused in prison and adjourned the matter to November 4, 11 and 18, 2016 for trial.
The first, second and fourth accused persons were represented by Seliowei Baidi, while the third accused was represented by J.0 Eguaroje.
While answering questions from journalists at the end of proceedings in court, the Attorney General said the arrest and commencement of prosecution of the accused persons in record time of less than sixty days was a clear signal of the readiness of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration to rid the State of all forms of criminality.
Kazeem, who reiterated the zero tolerance of the State Government for kidnapping, said he would be personally involved in the prompt prosecution of the case, adding that Governor Ambode is totally determined and committed to make the State a safe place for investors and residents.
Meanwhile, the State Government has listed Oba Oseni as one of the ten witnesses to testify against the accused persons.
It would be recalled that the monarch, after being whisked away by his abductors and kept in captivity for about three weeks, was rescued by the sustained pressure and intelligence gathering from law enforcement agencies.
Other witnesses are Oba Oseni’s wife, Olori Abosede; Prince Kazeem Oseni, Dr. F.I Osuolale, Sgt. Ademoh Raheem, Supol Keichalla Ali, Sgt. Dele Ojo Odunayo, Sgt. Akingbolu Tosin, Sgt. Abubakar Suleiman and Sgt. Briston Mimurod.