An Akure Chief Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday remanded 21 people in police custody for their alleged involvement in the cult clash that resulted in the death of three persons in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
They were charged with murder, attempted murder and conspiracy.
The accused persons include Alo Tolulope, 23; Adebayo Oluwatobi, 18; Adeniji Adenipekun, 23; Gbenga Akintola, 22; Olasehinde Tope, 28; Umakpor Godspower, 32; Adewunmi Aremo, 18; Abey Seun, 24; Makanjuola Tolulope, 30; Wasiu Raimi, 32; Dele Aja-Ogun,28 and Ibukun Oluwadare, 30.
The others are Gbenga Ajayi, 22; Ayodimeji Adelakun, 42; Fidelise Emeka,23; Israel Igwe,18; Ogunmodede Michael,18; Emmanuel Sylvester, 35; Oluwatosin Gbenga, 28; Ayomide Omotayo,18 and Papoola Emiola,18.
The Chief Magistrate, Victoria Bob-Manuel, ordered the defendants remanded in police custody pending the conclusion of police investigations.
“Police needs to do their investigation thoroughly before the next adjournment,” she said.
“And police is hereby giving 14 days to conclude their investigations and accused persons should be remanded at police custody until July 25.”
Earlier, police prosecutor, Martins Olowofeso, told the court that Tolulope, Oluwatobi, Adenipekun, Akintola, Tope and Godspower conspired to stab one Adebayo Samuel with broken bottle, who sustained serious injuries; and unlawfully shot one Adetunji Idowu to death.
Mr. Olowofeso also said that Aremo, Seun, Tolulope, Raimi, Aja-Ogun and Pleasure conspired to kill one Idowu Adetoro, a.k.a Small by macheting him to death.
According to him, Ajayi, Adelakun, Emeka, Igwe, Michael, Sylvester, Gbenga, Omotayo and Emiola unlawfully killed one Oluwafemi Yinka by macheting him to death.
He said that Tolulope and his group committed the offences on June 26 at about 5:30 p.m. at Arakale Road, while Aremo and his group committed the offences on June 24 at about 9:10 p.m. at Obanla. Ajayi and his group committed the offences sometime in the month of June at Idi-Iroko, Akure metropolis, the prosecutor said.
According to him, the offences were contrary to and punishable under sections 516, 320 and 316 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
Pleadings for bail by the counsel to the accused persons, Joseph Ayoju, Leo Okoye, Olubumi Olorunmoyo, Adetoye Femi, O. A. Emmanuel, and others, were not taken by the court, as it adjourned the case to July 25 for mention.
Speaking later, the police spokesperson in the state, Femi Joseph, told PREMIUM TIMES that the bail application would not be taken because the offences, especially as it affects murder, were not bailable.
He also said the police were screening another set of suspects to ascertain their involvement in the bloody attacks which claimed the lives of three persons.
The supremacy battle among several cult groups occurred in Akure just as Muslims rounded off Ramadan fast.
The cult groups, Eiye, Aye, Black Axe and others openly used machetes and guns on themselves.
Mr. Joseph said some of the suspects had revealed their tattoos and the initiation symbols of their respective cults and that had helped in identifying the cults they belonged to.
He further said that police detectives were on the trail of some of their leaders.