By Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
A traditional ruler in Ile-Ife, the Alapoje of Apoje, Oba Ademola Ademiluyi and a Pastor, Mr Taiwo Fakowajo have been remanded in prison custody by an Osogbo High Court in connection with the March 8, 2017 communal crisis in Ile-Ife.
Others arraigned and remanded by Justice Kudirat Akano are: Eluwole Akeem, Jimoh Sakiru, Daniel Olarenwaju and Bamidele Elurisanmi.
The suspects were arraigned on a 14-count-charge of murder, armed robbery, arson, stealing, conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms, disturbance of public peace, assault, among others.
Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Simon Lough told the court that the accused persons conspired to murder 46 people on March 6, 7 and 8 2017 at Sabo area in Ile-Ife, Osun state.
According to Lough, the accused persons conspired to inflict injuries on 96 people with the use of knives, cutlasses and broken bottles.
The accused persons were also accused of committing arson by setting shops and police vans on fire. The shops belonged to 21 people, according to the prosecutor.
Lough alleged that the suspects robbed 27 people and stole properties worth millions of naira during the three days.
However, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the 14 charges leveled against them.
Defence counsel for all the accused persons, Mr. Muritala Agboola applied for the bail of the suspects, praying the court to be liberal on the bail conditions.
Agboola told the court that the accused persons were ready to stand trial, maintaining that they were still presumed innocent until they are proved guilty by a court of law.
Justice Kudirat Akano who presided over the matter rejected the oral bail application, directing the defence counsel to provide formal bail application for all the accused persons.
She, however, ordered the accused persons to be remanded in prison custody, just as she adjourned the case till June 14, 15 and 16, 2017 for hearing.