Four docked in Ondo over murder of Fasoranti’s daughter
•Suspects remanded in prison •Court orders COVID-19 test for suspects
Hakeem Gbadamosi Akure
Four persons were on Friday arraigned before an Akure Chief Magistrate’s court for the murder of daughter of Afenifere leader, Mrs. Funke Olakunri.
The four accused persons, Muhammed Shehu, 26; Mazaje Lawal, 40; Adamu Adamu, 60 and Awalu Abubakar, 25, were arraigned on a three-count charge of conspiracy to kill, murder and kidnapping.
The charges were read to the defendants and were interpreted to them in Hausa language.
The charges read: “That Mohammed Shehu Isan, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/ljebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire together to commit felony to wit: murder and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 of Criminal Code, Cap 37; Vol. I, Laws of Ondo State, 2006.
“That Mohammed Shehu Isan, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/Ijebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did murder one Olufunke Olakunrin (Nee Fasoranti) ‘f’ aged 58 years contrary to and punishable under Section 316 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
“That Mohammed Shehu Isan, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/ljebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did murder one Ogunbiyi Matthew ‘m’ aged 65 years contrary to and punishable under Section 316 of the Criminal code, Cap 36, Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
“That you Mohammed Shehu Isan, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at honourable court did kidnap one Gerald Igboayaka and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 3(ii) (b) of the Ondo State Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law, 2010”
However, the four defendants had no representation in court.
The Ondo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye, who represented the state, announced the readiness of the state to take over the case.
Counsel for the state, before moving the motion for the court to rely on the statement deposed to by an official of FSARs, Akeem Ogunjobi, prayed the court to remand the four defendants at correctional facility in Owo, as the Akure facility had been over stretched.
The counsel also prayed the court to allow the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to conduct COVID -19 test on the defendants before moving them to Owo correctional centre.
He said this became necessary because of the Coronavirus disease that is ravaging the globe, saying it became necessary to know the health status of the four accused persons in order not to infect other inmates at the facility
In her ruling, Magistrate Victoria Bob-Manuel, granted the prayers of the prosecuting counsel to remand the accused at Owo correctional centre and that their samples should be tested before being remanded at the centre.
She however disclosed that the court lacked the jurisdiction and power to try the defendants and adjourned to June 3, 2020, for the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution.
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