Absence of defendants despite arrest warrant stalls case against land grabbers

Three months after Justice Hakeem Oshodi of a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja issued a warrant of arrest on three suspected Ejigbo land grabbers, the arrest is yet to be effected.

The court had issued a warrant of arrest against the trio of Alfa Mayak Hamzat, Victor Omotunde Ashamu and Tajudeen Muritala, to ensure they appear before the court to answer charges levelled against them following continuous their failure to appear before the court.

But, three months after the order was issued the suspects are yet to appear before the court thereby frustrating their arraignment.

Justice Oshodi had adjourned the case on several occasions to enable the Police effect the arrest of the suspects but the prosecution had been giving one excuse after another.

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When the matter came up before the court on Wednesday,  the prosecuting counsel, Y.G Oshoala, from the office of the Attorney General of Lagos state informed the court that he was surprised the suspects were not in court.

He informed the court that the Officer in Charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARs assured him that the suspects would be brought to court.

He urged the court to adjourn the matter to enable him liaise with the Police. Consequently, Justice Oshodi adjourned the matter April 1, 2020 for arraignment of the suspects.

It would be recalled that the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Mr. Moyosore Onigbajo, SAN had directed that legal action be taken against the suspects sequel to the encroached Ejigbo land belonging to an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Adeoye.

A statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, said: “Information had earlier been filed by the Office of the Director Public Prosecutions (DPP) and when the matter came up in court on December 18, the three defendants were absent in court.

“A motion exparte was then moved before the court by the Director of Public Prosecutions to seek an order issuing a warrant of arrest on the three suspects, who had obviously absconded and remained at large, since the intervention of the state government in the matter.”

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General has assured residents that their investments in land and property in the state will be protected by the state government

 

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