Five students of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Mapoly, Abeokuta, were on Friday arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Abeokuta over unlawful possession of firearms and cultism.
The accused as mentioned in the suit number MA/781c include: Olawale Olaniyi, Adeyemi Azeez, Olufalo Bidemi, Osilaja Hammed and Bashorun Sodiq. They are facing a three-count charge, which range from conspiracy, unlawful possession of firearms and belonging to a secret cult.
The amended charge read that the accused on August 5, 2013 at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta in the Abeokuta Magisterial District belonged to a group called Black Axe, a secret cult society, contrary to section 3 and punishable under section 5 of the secret cult (prohibition and special prohibition) laws of Ogun State, 2006.
The charge also had it that the accused persons unlawfully had in possession a locally made gun and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3 of the firearms act (Cap 28) laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004
The arraignment of the accused was based on the legal advice of Director of Public Prosecution, DPP in a letter reference number AB11/S.9631A/12 dated July 21, 2014 which recommended the trial.
When the charge was read to the accused they pleaded not guilty. Two counsels, Bolarinwa Odeyale and B.O Saidu, appeared for the accused.
Mr. Odeyale pleaded for renewal of bail earlier granted the accused before their case file were sent to the Director of Public Prosecution, but the court noted that this could only be granted if a new application is filed or the sureties came forwarded to update the bail application for the benefits of the accused.
However, the counsel was able to perfect his argument and prayers in favour of three of the accused Olawale Olaniyi, Olufalo Bidemi and Bashorun Sodiq, who were granted bail, while two others, Adeyemi Azeez and Osilaja were ordered to be remanded for inability to meet up the bail conditions.
The judge, Mr. Adekunle, in his ruling, adjourned the hearing to February, 19, 2015.