Seven suspects arrested and charged before an Ebute-Metta Chief Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, in connection with the alleged killing of a member of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on Lagos Island, Azeez Otun, 47, a.K.A Ashake, and other two persons, have been exonerated by the state’s Directorate of Public Prosecution, DPP.
The seven suspects are: Ahmadu Kazeem, 43; Ibrahim Afolabi, 37; Lawal Lateef, 27; Anthony Qudus, 33; Adeshina Ibrahim, 28; Adebayo Ogunjimi, 25; and Animashaun Olubodun, 33.
It would be recalled that late Azeez Otun, a.k.a. Ashake, Rilwan Saka, 19; and Obabiolorunkosi Nurudeen were allegedly shot dead by some political thugs after a rally organized by the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, on September 20, 2014, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS, Onikan Lagos.
After the alleged killing, the police arrested the seven suspects and brought them before Chief Magistrate Afolashade Botoku led-court, who granted the remand application for the remand of the suspects pending an advice from the DPP.
However, in absolving the suspects of the alleged murder, the DPP in an advice with reference number LJP/HOM/2016/02/13, dated February 23, 2016, and signed by M. T. Adewoye, its Assistant Director stated that the prosecution cannot succeed in establishing the guilt of the suspects by merely establishing the cause of the deceased.
Parts of the advice reads: “I am directed to acknowledge the receipt of your letter with reference No. CB: 3514/LSX/D4/VOL.9/84, dated January 8, 2016, and do accompanying duplicate case file forwarded to this office for legal advice.
“After carefully considering the facts available in the duplicate case file, this office is of the view that there are insufficient facts to establish a prima facia case of conspiracy to commit murder and murder contrary to Section 409 and 221 respectively of the Criminal laws of Lagos State 2011, against all the suspects herein.
“Facts in the duplicate case file revealed that on September 20, 2014, there was a rally organised by members of Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, at TBS, Lagos Island, and after the rally there was a clash between the supportersof PDP and All Progressive Congress, APC, at Isale-Eko which resulted in the death of Azeez Otun, A.K.A Ashake, a member of the APC. Facts further revealedt that there was a reprisal attack at Enu-Owa in Lagos, and three persons identified as PSP members were short dead.”
The advice states further: “the facts in the case file disclosed that, all suspects were not arrested at the scene of the crime, and neither were they arrested with a gun. Thanks suspects were arrested by the police based on suspicion through raiding. Moreover, most of the of the suspects raised defense in alibi relating to their location at the time of the incident which were corroborated by other suspects and were also affirmed and admitted by the in their investigative reports.
“In view of the above, this office shall not prosecute all suspects herein Ahmadu Kazeem, Ibrahim Afolabi, Lawal Lateef; Anthony Qudus; Adeshina Ibrahim; Adebayo Ogunjimi, for conspiracy felony and murder contrary to sections 409 and 221 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2011, and thus should be released forthwith.
“However, there are witnesses statements confirming the Kazeem Oloko, Abass Adebola, Mustapha Akindele, a.k.a.Sego, Fatal Olori, a.k.a Agbara and Alli Balogun are all involved in the death of the deceased persons and thus should be arrested.”
One of the to suspects, Kazeem Ahmadu who spoke with The Street Reporters on Thursday, after they were in release, expressed gratitude to God for delivering them from the matter they knew about.
Narrating his ordeal Ahmadu said: “I reported at Lion Building Police station when I heard that the police were looking for me on November 3, 2015, but to my surprise, the police alleged that I broke a kiosk belonging to on woman named Ola Williams.
“I was later moved to Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, at Adeniji, where all I was again alleged to be in possession of gun and belonging to a cult group but all this I denied. I was later moved to State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, Panti, where other suspects were joined with me before we were charged to court on December 2, 2015.
“But in all my statements at all the police stations, I denied all allegations and I thank God that he has exonerated us.”
Ahmadu who is an Assistant Auditor of Ward B2, Lagos Island Constituency 1, described his arrest and detention and other suspects as unjust. Adding that they were made to replace three suspects namely: Adebayo Dipo, Alade Ogbulu and Olumide Koffi, (Ghanaian) who earlier confessed to the crime after they were arrested and paraded at the Lagos state Command.
He appealed to the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase, to order the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Owoseni to produce three suspects and prosecute them accordingly.
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