12th August, 2010
Job Ogunbiyi, Babatunde Dasun and five other Badagry community leaders have been cleared by a Yaba Magistrateâ€™s Court over a nine-count charge of conspiracy to murder five policemen six years ago.
Chief Magistrate O.I. Adelaja quashed all the charges when she ruled on a case of no-case submission argument by the defence lawyer, Barrister Segun Odubela, who led another counsel, Peter Agboola.
As earlier observed in a no-case submission, the issue was not whether or not the incident happened, â€œit is whether or not the prosecution was able to make out a prima facie case requiring the defendants to defend,â€ she held.
Continuing, she said, â€œit is disheartening that the police did not show enough diligence in the prosecution of this case, especially when their colleagues were allegedly attacked. The evidences were not specific, while enough materials were not placed before the court and as it is, it appears to this court that they only chose to charge the prominent members of the community, most of who the witnesses said, were not at the scene on the date of the incident.â€
Chief Magistrate Adelaja therefore held that â€œit is the decision of this court that the offence levelled against the first accused, Jacob Ogunbiyi; second, Babatunde Dasun; third, Timothy Boton; fourth, Jacob Kaju; fifth, Durojaiye Posu; sixth, Sunday Oke and the seventh, Idowu Sekoto, the defendants was not sufficiently proved to meet the required standard of proof beyond all reasonable doubts in a criminal case.
â€œAll the accused are therefore discharged and acquitted.â€
Among other charges, they were alleged to have conspired to murder Mr. Sikiru Olayinka (ASP), Mr. Ibrahim Idakuro (ASP), Inspector Buraimoh Rasaki, Corporal Ogunleye Oladapo and Taiwo Wasiu at Ilogbo Village and stealing of police Berretta rifle, property of the Nigeria Police Force and thereby committed an offence purnishable under Section 390 of the Criminal Code.
The prosecution called nine witnesses while the defence opted for a no-case submission under Section 286 of the Criminal Procedure Act which is the same as Section 244 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Laws of Lagos State, 2007.
The court upheld the no-case submission of Barrister Segun Odubela.