Ondo monarch, nine others charged for murder

The judge granted bail to the accused.‪
Ten suspects including the Olu of Igbokoda, headquarters of Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Afolabi Odidiomo, were on Thursdayarraigned before an Igbokoda magistrate court over  alleged involvement in the death of one Lebi Itiola.

They were brought to court on a four-count charge of murder, conspiracy, and attempted murder.

The police prosecutor, Stanley Nwodo (DSP) from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, in the charge sheet, said Mr. Odidiomo and other suspects, on  March 13  at Ilaje High School Igbokoda committed felony. He alleged that they murdered Omolebi Titiola, an offence he said was punishable under sector 324 of the Criminal Code, CAP 37 Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State 2006.

The suspects, Mr.  Odidiomo,  , Tayo Lebile, Nana Iroayo , Deji Enikanlogbo, Taiwo Medioye , Lekinyo Feyesara , Clement Orieta, Omorilonji Toyin , Adeniyi Gorroth and Olatunji Akinlaja  were brought to court in a white Toyota Hiace Bus with registration number  Kano FGG 440 AK at about 9.45 a.m. amid tight security.

Mr. Odidiomo, who dressed in a brown kampala with green cap, was docked along with other suspects before Magistrate Femi Agunloye.

Mr. Agunloye later ordered that the monarch be given a chair as a mark of honour following the plea by his counsel.

Mr. Nwodo in the charge number MKD/70/2013 said the monarch and other suspects also attempted to murder one Obiadi Itunu by using spear to hit him at the back and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 230 of Criminal Code CAP 37 Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State 2006.

Magistrate Agunloye, however, refused to take the plea of the accused counsel, saying the court had no jurisdiction over capital offence as contained in count two of the charge sheet.

The police prosecutor, however, prayed the court to remand the accused persons in prison pending the completion of the investigations by the police.

However, Mr. Agunloye despite his earlier claim that the magistrate court had no jurisdiction over the matter, granted the accused bail following an oral application by their counsel.

The magistrate ruled that Mr. Odidiomo and other accused persons should produce a civil servant of grade level 10 with landed property within the jurisdiction and two prominent traditional rulers as sureties.

He later adjourned the case to Friday.

Mr. Odidiomo, who looked pale, was brought from Abuja on Tuesday evening with other suspects and detained at Igbokoda Police Station before their arraignment in court.

The parents of the deceased, Mr. and Mrs. Taiwo Itiola, who also appeared in court in tears asked for justice over the death of their son.

Some lawyers at the court criticized the ruling which granted bail to the accused persons, saying the development compromised judicial ethics.

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They called on the Ondo State Judiciary Service Commission to investigate the matter and sanction the magistrate accordingly.‬


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