Magistrate threatens to strike out terrorism charges against Lagos market leader


The accused is facing a seven court including terrorism, conspiracy and attempted murder.

An Ebutte Meta Magistrate Court, Monday, threatened to strike out terrorism charges brought by the police against Jonathan Okoli, a market leader.

Mr. Okoli, 50, a factional leader at Aguiyi Ironsi International Market, Ladipo, Lagos, is facing a seven-count charge including terrorism, conspiracy, and attempted murder.

The magistrate, M.O Olajuwon, had adjourned the matter at the last sitting to await the advice of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, DPP.

However, on Monday, the police said that they are yet to receive the advice.

The prosecution counsel, Adeola Ilumero, attributed the delay to the numerous security agencies involved as they have to streamline their charges.

“Part of the delay is that the copy of a document we got from the SSS (State Security Service) was not clear,” Mr. Ilumero said. “We wrote to them to get a clearer copy and they haven’t responded. We’ll send the one we have to the court pending when they send us the clearer copy,” he added.

Ms. Olajuwon adjourned till January 8, 2013, for the DPP’s advice to be ready.

“Let’s hope they provide it, if not, the matter will be struck out,” she said. “A hearing date will be served on the commissioner of police and the DPP.”

The police is accusing Mr. Okoli, a native of Ndionwu in Anambra State, and others at large, of arming themselves with dangerous weapons and demanding property menacingly from the traders at the Ladipo market.

Through the window of his temporary detention room at the court, a smiling Mr. Okoli shook hands with the scores of traders from the Ladipo Spare Parts Market who had come to show solidarity.

Various factions of market leaders have continued a violent battle for supremacy at the popular spare parts market.

Mr. Okoli’s application for bail comes up at the Ikeja High Court, on Tuesday.

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