Court Remands Traditional Ruler, Pastor, Others In Prison Custody Over Ife Crisis
A traditional ruler in Ile-Ife, Osun state, the Alapoje of Apoje, Oba Ademola Ademiluyi, and a clergyman, Pastor Taiwo Fakowajo, were among six suspects remanded in prison custody yesterday by an Osogbo High Court in connection with the March 8, crisis in Ile-Ife.
Others arraigned and remanded by Justice Kudirat Akano are Eluwole Akeem, Jimoh Sakiru, Daniel Olarenwaju and Bamidele Elurisanmi. They were arraigned on a 14-count charge of murder, armed robbery, arson, stealing, conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms and disturbance of public peace, assault, among others.
Their arraignment had suffered setback on Wednesday and Thursday due to alleged non-compliance with court proceeding. Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Simon Lough, told the court that the accused persons allegedly conspired to murder 46 people on March 6, 7 and 8, this year at Sabo area in Ile-Ife.
He told the court that the accused conspired to inflict injuries on 96 people with the use of knives, cutlasses and broken bottles during the crisis.
The accused are also standing trial for alleged arson by setting shops belonging to 21 unnamed persons and Police vans on fire, robbing 27 people and stealing properties worth millions of naira during the mayhem.
They, however, pleaded not guilty to all the 14 charges preferred against them. Their Counsel, Mr. Muritala Agboola, applied for their bail, praying the court to be liberal on the bail conditions.
He told the court that the suspects were ready to stand trial, stating that they were and are still presumed innocent until they are proved guilty by a court of law.