10th February, 2012
There was drama and pandemonium as lawyers, litigants and policemen scampered to safety at Ejigbo Magistrate’s Court in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, yesterday, when an investigating police officer, IPO, tendered a live python as an exhibit.
The prosecutor, Oladejo Balogun also refused to accept the snake as exhibit.
He quickly made an oral application asking the court to order the police to return it to their custody till the next adjourned date, saying that he had no place to keep it and he does not know the type of food the snake eats.
The police in turn said that they were tired of keeping the snake since the arrest of the suspects last Saturday and asked the court to accept and keep it as an exhibit. The police had brought two suspected fraudsters, Kayode Oseni, 42 and Jamiu Adeyemi, 37 along with the snake as the exhibit which they allegedly planted in a house of a complainant, Alhaji Jelili Kuku to defraud him.
P.M.NEWS gathered that the defendants had gone to Kuku’s house at 14, Foursquare Street, Ikotun, Lagos and planted the snake and pretended to be praying for him.
They blamed all his woes on the demon inside his house. After their arrest, they allegedly confessed to the police that they took the action to defraud Kuku.
They had hoped to bring the snake from where they hid it in his house while they pretended to be praying for him in order to extort money from him.
They had earlier allegedly extorted N40,000 from him to buy a ram for sacrifice, which they claimed would save his life.
However, they were unlucky as Kuku saw them while they were planting the snake. He invited the police who arrested them.
The defendants were docked on a two-count charge of fraud and stealing contrary to and punishable under sections 419 and 390 of the Criminal Code Cap 17 Vol. 2 Laws of Lagos State, 2003.
They pleaded not guilty. The presiding magistrate, Mrs. M. B. Folami granted them bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
The court ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending when they will fulfill their bail conditions.
Mrs. Folami also ordered the police to return the snake to their exhibit room till the next adjourned date. The matter was adjourned till 14 March 2012 for mention.