Olakiitan Victor in Ado Ekiti
Having been tried and found guilty for assault and breach of public peace, a Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State, has committedtwo brothers to one month imprisonment .
The Chief Magistrate, Bayode Owoeye, in his judgment, found the convicts, Julius Babatope and Sunday Babatope guilty of the charge preferred against them.
The case was filed by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Etop James, against the duo and one Stephen Adarabierin for their alleged conspiracy, grievous assault, malicious damage and breach of public peace.
The accused were said to have committed the offence on April 1, 2013.
They were accused of carrying out an attack on one Jacob Adelowo on the said date in connection with a chieftaincy wrangling in the town.
The defence called four witnesses while the prosecution called six witnesses in the course of the trial.
The court considered that being a magistrate’s court, it lacked the requisite jurisdiction to adjudicate on a chieftaincy matter. Doing so, it held, would amount to judicial rascality.
Owoeye affirmed that any act done without requisite jurisdiction was null and void, consequently his court deliberately refrained from making comments on such testimonies since no probation value whatsoever attached to such.
Having been informed that Adarabierin who was the first accused person had died, the court ordered that Julius and Sunday be discharged and acquitted on conspiracy, grievous assault and malicious damage.
But the two brothers were convicted for breach of public peace with the magistrate sentencing them to one month imprisonment with the option of N2,000 each.
The court granted the accused the right of appeal against the judgment within 21 succeeding days after which the exhibits in the case shall be released to their rightful owners.