Absence of magistrate stalls suspects’ trial, stool tussle
The absence of a Lagos Magistrate yesterday stalled the trial of three men arrested by the police in connection with the violence that broke out at Igbolomu Village in Ibeju-Lekki last December.
Gbenga Saheed, 40, and his brother, Tolowashe Saheed, 37, were alleged to have conducted themselves violently and imposed one Babatunde Arowosegbe, 75, as the Baale of Igbolomu.
The siblings were first arraigned on January 2, before Magistrate L.O. Kazeem on five counts of conspiracy, malicious damage, breach of public peace and obstruction of lawful duty under Sections 350, 255, 174 (b), 56 and 168(d) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2015.
Aworosegbe, who was at large, was eventually arrested and arraigned on February 7, on a four-count charge of conspiracy, self imposition, violently unseated the authorized Baale and impersonation under Sections 350, 56, 168(d) and 382 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2015.
At the last hearing, prosecuting Inspector Philip Osijale told the court that the defendants committed the offence on December 29, at about 2:00p.m. at Igbolomu Village. Osijale said the defendants, without lawful authority, used threat and violence to impose Arowosegbe as Baale of Igbolomu Village in Ibeju Lekki.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and were granted bail in the sum of N300,000 with two sureties each by the magistrate, who adjourned the case for trial yesterday.
Trouble started at Igbolomu last September after posters and t-shirts of Arowosegbe as Baale flooded the community. This was said to have irked supporters of the incumbent Baale, Chief Adams Olorungbeminiyi, who sent a petition to the police for intervention. `
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