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Court adjourns hearing on Mile 12 riot to May 23

One of the badly damaged classrooms. PHOTO: ENIOLA DANIEL

One of the badly damaged classrooms. PHOTO: ENIOLA DANIEL

Proprietress recounts how she threw pupils through window to escape from hoodlums

A Lagos Magistrate Court sitting in Ikeja has fixed May 23, 2016 for continuation of hearing in the suit filed against the suspects arrested in connection with the March 3 Mile 12 market riot.

It would be recalled that 117 suspects were arrested over the Mile 12 riot, which left many houses burnt, several persons injured and about 16 persons dead. They were charged for conspiracy to wit felony, unlawful assembly, acts in a disorderly manner and also disturbance of public peace.

According to the prosecutors, Barrister Osuyi Goddy and Inspector Simon Imhonwa, the accused persons committed the alleged offence punishable under Section 409 and 45 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011. They had pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

When the matter was called on Friday before Magistrate Mrs. B.O. Osunsanmi, the state Assistant Director of Public Prosecution (ADPP), Mr. Jide Martins, informed the court that the police was yet to forward the case file to the DPP.

Martins asked for an adjournment to enable time to forward the case file to the DPP. The presiding Magistrate thereafter adjourned the matter till May 23, 2016 for hearing.

However, it is still a long road to recovery for many of the victims affected by the Mile 12 mayhem. One of the victims and proprietress of Glorious Destiny School, Agiliti Mile 12, Mrs. Elizabeth Olutoye, whose school was damaged, has called on the state government to offer palliatives to those whose properties were destroyed during the crisis.

She also stated that relocation of the Mile 12 market would be the lasting solution to the inter-tribal war in the area. “Relocating the market will put an end to the incessant attacks happening here almost every time but which go unreported; the market is the hideout of the criminals threatening the peace of the whole community.

“As long as the market remains, there will always be trouble because new people come everyday with trailers bringing goods from the North; they come with nylon bag or nothing. They don’t have any place to go to except hanging around the market.”

Apart from the school building that was destroyed, Olutoye said all the school documents since its creation more than a decade ago have been lost. Narrating her ordeal in the hands of the hoodlums, she said: “I was lucky to get some of the children out before they arrive. By the time the hoodlums, mostly youths from the north, came to the school gate, there were about 20 pupils still stranded in the compound.

“They started knocking the gate, throwing stones and bottles into the school compound and shouting ‘open’. We at first moved the children to a toilet to hide them but when the situation became tense and the fear of what might happen if they succeeded in breaking down the gate, we got a ladder and broke a window to create an escape route for the children.

“I was in the compound and one of my teachers was in the next compound and we started throwing the children one after the other to avoid any casualty from our school,” she narrated.



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