Six men armed with dangerous weapons, charged with causing breach of peace at Alaba International Market, on Thursday appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos.
The accused are Nzimorah Ifeanyi, 40; Uchenna Nnaji, 43; Kenneth Okena, 42; Godwin Odunukwe, 43.
Others are Chetachukwu Ujunwa, 38, and Jonas Chime, 50.
The men, who are traders, all reside at Alaba area of Lagos. They face a three-count charge of conspiracy, breach of peace and possession of dangerous weapons.
Police Prosecutor Peter Nwangwu told the court that the accused committed the offences with others still at large on December 18 and 19, 2017 and March 18 at 10.00 a.m. at Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos.
Mr Nwangwu said the accused persons, who were armed with cutlasses and some other dangerous weapons, stormed the popular market, robbed the traders of their goods and inflicted injuries on them.
He said that the case was reported at the Special Tactical Squad of the Lagos Sector Command of the Nigeria Police.
The prosecutor alleged that the accused, with the assistance of some hoodlums and miscreants armed with dangerous weapons robbed the innocent traders and inflicted them with injuries.
“This led to the breakdown of law and order causing serious commotion in the market, People running helter-skelter scampering for safety.
Mr Nwangwu alleged that the accused persons also displayed banners with inscriptions of inciting write-ups in order to cause ethnic and religious chaos.
“The accused threatened the life of the complainant, one Mr Patrick Iwuagwu, (the chairman of the said market) leading to perpetual fear of being attacked, hence the report,” he said
The offences contravened Sections 41, 45 and 412 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 45 stipulates three years jail term.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Y.O Aje-Afunwa, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N250,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
Aje-Afunwa said one of the sureties must be a landlord in Lagos State while the other should be blood relations of the accused persons.
In addition, the sureties must be gainfully employed with an evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
Aje-Afunwa adjourned the case until October 29 for trial.