Drama as magistrate rescues accused from ‘abduction’

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By Lucky Nwanekwu

LAGOS—THERE was drama at the Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, yesterday, when an attempt by some policemen to arrest an accused, Alhaji Mutairu Owoeye, alleged to have jumped bail over same case he was being tried for, was foiled by the magistrate.

When the accused raised alarm that he was being abducted, presiding magistrate, Mrs Awogboro, insisted that the accused be left alone, faulting the warrant of arrest.

It was gathered that yesterday’s incident was the second attempt to arrest Owoeye in one month.

The policemen, led by a Sergeant identified simply as Olumide, had explained to the magistrate that the directive to arrest the accused followed an order from an unnamed Deputy Commissioner of Police at the Force Criminal Investigation Bureau in Abuja.

Docked in 3 courts

One of the counsel to Owoeye, Bayo Omoniyi, revealed that Owoeye, his son and four others had so far been arraigned in three different courts over same offence.

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Policemen, as gathered, had in October last year invaded an uncompleted hotel in Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State, where they allegedly recovered arms and ammunition.

Four workers and security men were arrested in connection with the recovery.

They were arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos and have been standing trial, while in prison custody.

Awoeye’s son, Ganiyu, was said to have been arrested over same matter and charged before an Ikeja magistrate’s court, presided over by Mrs M. O. Tanimola.

Owoeye, on his part, was jointly arraigned again before an Igbosere magistrate’s court, presided over by Mrs Awogboro and has been standing trial since last year.

His counsel wondered why the policemen, who claimed to have come from Abuja, would storm the court premises to arrest his client despite directive from the Police high command that all the cases should be consolidated for effective prosecution.

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Petitions IG

Owoeye, therefore, called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to come to his aid, adding that he had expressed his willingness to stand trial.

He also urged the IG to investigate the motive behind the duplication of the same case at three different courts in Lagos State.

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