Court acquits five wrongfully substituted by police for murder
Five indigenes of Ilagbo community in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos, who were wrongfully substituted by operatives of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) as murder suspects, have been acquitted by the courts.
The five persons were on August 15, 2017 wrongfully substituted and charged before Magistrate Awoyele Oshin of the Igbosere Magistrate Court and were remanded in prison till September 15, 2017.
However, the case was finally heard by Magistrate A.F.O. Botoku of Igbosere Magistrate Court 2 on charges bordering on the murder of two prominent members of the Ilagbo community.
The indigenes identified as Segun Salami, Samson Abimbola, Sikiru Egunjemi, Aliu Egunjemi and Jimoh Ogunnupe were wrongfully accused of murdering the duo of Suliamon Akewusola and Salami Musiliu a.k.a Mantanle.
In her judgment, the magistrate acquitted the five on the grounds that the office of the Inspector General of Police deceitfully charged them after criminally substituting the real suspects with the innocent persons mentioned.
While pleading his case, counsel to the acquitted persons, Sadiku Ibitayo, Managing Partner at Deed Solicitors, alleged that the investigating team from Abuja, comprising of Deputy Inspector General of Police – Criminal Intelligence and investigation department, CSP Chike, ASP Daniel Attah and his team all attached to the force CIID, Area 10, Abuja, were culpable.
According to Sadiku, the real suspects had been arrested by the Akodo police team and the Homicide Department in Panti, before these officers from Abuja whisked them and the case file to Abuja to enabled them perfect their ground plan of scuttling the entire case, thereby liberating them back to the society.
He added: “The Commissioner of Police of River State recently laid a laudable precedent in the recent case of Ifeanyi Dike who allegedly raped and killed an eight-year-old girl. The erring officers, the dismissed IPO and the DPO, are now in custody pending further investigations of their culpability into the case.
“We therefore call on the IGP to show courage and do the needful by arresting all the officers involved in this shameful act pending the arrest of the fleeing murders released by the officers. This is the only antidote to future occurrences of such despicable acts while also restoring lasting peace to the community.”
The tragedy began on May 23, 2017, during the annual Kilajolu Festival at Ilagbo where a youth of the community was killed in cold blood by some youths of Oriyanrin community and it spiraled into the murder of two other persons and arson.
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