Eighteen persons, including Rafiu Ibrahim, the senator representing Kwara South, were on Monday docked before an Ilorin Chief Magistrates’ Court over the February 19 pre-election violence in Ojoku, Kwara in which one person was killed.
While Mr Ibrahim and eight others facing four-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, inciting disturbance of public peace and causing grievous hurt were granted bail, nine others facing culpable homicide were remanded in prison.
Those granted bail along with Mr Ibrahim (PDP-Kwara South) were Soliu Abdulazeez, Adigun Taofeeq, Wasiu Toheed, Garuba Mustapha, Kubura Wahab, Magaji Bashiru, Fatai Jamiu and Sherif Adisa all of Ojoku town, Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara.
Chief Magistrate Jubril Salihu granted the defendants N500, 000 bail each with two sureties each in like sum.
Earlier, Kwara State Prosecutor, Aderemi Ajibola told the court that on February 19, the APC Senatorial candidate, Lola Ashiru and his campaign team, were attacked on their way out of the palace of Olojoku of Ojoku, Oba Abdulrazaq, by some unknown youths.
He said during the attack, several gunshots were fired at the campaign team, resulting into killing of one Samuel Abidemi Adeosun, while several other people sustained injuries.
“Several vehicles in the campaign team were also damaged,” he said.
Mr Ajibola said police investigation led to the arrest of Mr Ibrahim, the PDP senatorial candidate, who is an indigene of the community and suspected to have incited the said attack on his political opponent.
“Further investigation also led to the arrest of one Kubura Wahab, PDP Women leader in Ojoku, who allegedly harboured three of the accused persons, who allegedly participated in the attack
“Another development discreet investigation also led to the arrest of the remaining four accused persons with suspected gunshot injuries believed to have been sustained at the scene of the crime,” he said.
Mr Ajibola said the offences contravened provisions of Sections 97, 114, 327 and 247 of Penal Code, adding that investigation is still ongoing towards arresting other suspects at large.
In his bail application, R. Gold, counsel to Mr Ibrahim and eight other defendants, said there was no concrete evidence that showed that the accused persons were guilty as charged.
Gold said that the first accused, Mr Ibrahim, was not at the scene of the crime and had not been found guilty in any way, while the third to ninth accused persons were arrested in the house of the second accused without any proof.
The nine defendants who were remanded in prison for culpable homicide were Balogun Wasiu, Mudashiru Oyedele, Abdulkareem Jamiu, Yahya Kamilu, Olalaro Kehinde, Abubakar Ahmed, Shehu Olubolade, Rasheed Rahim and Usman Kolapo.
The prosecutor said that the accused, armed with various dangerous weapons and suspected to be thugs of PDP, caused the killing of one Samuel Abidemi Adeosun, through gun shot, while several other people sustained various injuries as well as vandalization of the APC campaign vehicle.
“The IGP Special Tactical squad Abuja on election security duties in the state swung into action and arrested the accused persons at Oyun Local Government Area, Kwara State.
“Discreet investigation conducted into the incident revealed that the suspects conspired with other suspects at large, to carry out the said attack which resulted in the killing of the deceased.
“In the course of investigation, the second suspect, Mudashiru Oyedele, confessed being at the scene of the incident with one Nurudeen of Ajase-Ipo still at large, who was in possession of one Pump Action Riffle and a locally made pistol, used for the attack,” he said.
Mr Ajibola said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 97, 113, and 221 of the Penal Code.
He said investigation was still ongoing towards effecting the arrest of other suspects that were still at large and recovery of their arms and ammunition.
Both cases were adjourned until March 28, for mention.