Court Remands Four in Prison for Alleged Killing of Fasoranti’s Daughter

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By James Sowole

Four men standing trial for allegedly killing Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the Afenifere leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, were yesterday remanded in prison.

The four accused persons, Muhammed Shehu, 26, Mazaje Lawal, 40, Adamu Adamu, 60 and Awalu Abubakar, 25, were arraigned on three count charge of conspiracy to kill, murder and kidnapping.

The charge was read to the accused and interpreted to them in Hausa language.

The charge reads: “that Mohammed Shehu 26, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/ljebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire together to commit felony to wit: Murder and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 Of Criminal Code, Cap 37; Vol. I, Laws of Ondo State 2006.

“That Mohammed Shehu, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/Ijebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did murder one Olufunke Olakunrin (Nee Fasoranti) ‘f’ aged 58-year contrary to and punishable under Section 316 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

“That Mohammed Shehu Is an, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12‘“ day of July, 2019 at about 0900hrs at Tollgate along Ore/ljebu Ode Expressway, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did murder one Ogunbiyi Matthew ‘m’ aged 65-year contrary to and punishable under Section 316 of the Criminal code, Cap36, Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

“That you Mohammed Shehu, Mazaje Lawal, Adamu Adamu, and Awalu Abubakar and others now at large on or before the 12th day of July, 2019 at Honorable Court did kidnap one Gerald Igboayaka and thereby committed and offence contrary to and punishable under Section 3(ii) (b) of the Ondo State Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law, 2010.”

However, the four accused who had no representation in court pleaded not guilty to all the charges pressed against them.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye, who represented the state, announced the readiness of the state to take over the case.

The Counsel to the state before moving the motion for the court to rely on the statement deposed by an official of FSARs, Akeem Ogunjobi, prayed the court to remand the four defendants to Correctional facility in Owo, as the Akure facility had been overstretched.

The Counsel also prayed the court to allow the Nigeria Centr efor Disease Control (NCDC) to conduct COVID-19 test on the defendants before moving them to Owo Correctional Centre.

He said this became necessary because of the Coronavirus disease that was ravaging the globe, adding that it became necessary to know the health status of the four accused in order not to infect other inmates at the facility

In her ruling, the trial Magistrate, Victoria Bob-Manuel, granted the prayers of the prosecution Counsel to remand the accused at Owo facility centre and their samples to be tested before being remanded at the center.

The Magistrate however, said that the court lacked the jurisdiction and power to try the defendants and adjourned to June 3, 2020, for the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution.