Kwara Courts Remand 34 Suspected Mall Looters

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By Hammed Shittu

Thirty four suspects have been remanded in Oke- Kura Correctional Centre, Kwara State, by some Magistrate Courts sitting in Ilorin over their alleged involvement in the looting and destruction of Kwara Mall and other stores last Friday.

The suspects were arrested by the Kwara State Command of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and were arraigned last Monday.

Following a tip-off from members of the public, men of NSCDC, according to its Commandant, Makinde Ayinla, swung into action and arrested many culprits at various locations in Ilorin with items looted from the Kwara Mall and other stores.

The 15 out of the 34 defendants were arraigned before Magistrate Ibrahim Mohammed while the remain 19 were arraigned before Magistrate Afusat Alege, and charged with criminal conspiracy, brigandage, theft, belonging to gang of thieves, and destruction of public and private property.

Although the charges were read to the accused, their pleas were not taken on the basis of Magistrate Courts lacking jurisdiction to entertain some of the charges.

The prosecutor, Inspector Nasiru Yusuf, said the investigation is ongoing, urging the courts to remand the defendants till next adjourned date for further mention.

Releasing any of them on bail, he argued, was premature in view of the tensed atmosphere in the country as well as the safety of the defendants themselves.

The courts, in their separate rulings, adjourned till November 9 and 16 for further mention, and remanded all the defendants at Oke-Kura Correctional Centre in Ilorin.