Drug Trafficking: Singapore’s Appeal Court Frees Nigerian After Nine Years

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo

 

The Court of Appeal in Singapore has acquitted and discharged a Nigerian, Ilechukwu Uchechukwu Chukwudi, on death row for drug trafficking, nearly a decade after he was arrested.

The country’s apex court, in a rare decision, reversed itself and found Ilechukwu not guilty, five years after the same court convicted him of the offence.

Ilechukwu faced a charge of trafficking almost 2kg (1,963.3g) of methamphetamine found in a black trolley bag he brought with him from Nigeria into Singapore on November 13, 2011.

The charge was punishable by death.

He had collected the luggage at the airport in Nigeria, found only clothes in it. The luggage passed several immigration checks in both countries without problems.

The Nigerian was said to have handed the bag to a Singaporean stall assistant named Hamidah Awang at a Clarke Quay bus stop.

Hamidah’s car was then searched at Woodlands Checkpoint in River Valley Road, Singapore and drugs were discovered in the luggage.

Ilechukwu was initially acquitted after a trial in the High Court in 2014 but the appellate court reversed that decision in 2015 and found him guilty of drug trafficking.

His lawyers — Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, Mr Suang Wijaya and Mr Johannes Hadi from Eugene Thuraisingam LLP, as well as Ms Jerrie Tan from K&L Gates Straits Law — argued for the decision to be reviewed.

At the sentencing stage, they provided “material evidence” showing that Ilechukwu was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with dissociative symptoms.

The Court of Appeal then ordered a review of the case in light of the fresh evidence, given by the psychiatrist who was a prosecution witness.

At the review, the court upheld their submissions and found that Ilechukwu experienced PTSD symptoms while giving statements to authorities.

In a split decision on Thursday, four out of five justices on the case found that Ilechukwu did not know there were drugs in the bag, finding that he had been “deceived” unwittingly into transporting drugs.

The apex court quashed its own decision, setting the Nigerian free.

“The picture that emerges from the evidence is that he had grossly misjudged (his childhood friend and acquaintance), and naively believed that he was doing a simple favour in return for promised business contacts.

“Unwittingly, he had been deceived into transporting drugs on their behalf to (their) contact in Singapore,” the judges added.

Judge of Appeal, Tay Yong Kwang dissented, while Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Senior Judge Chao Hick Tin, and Judges of Appeal, Judith Prakash and Andrew Phang ruled in Ilechukwu’s favour.

In a statement, Ilechukwu’s lawyers said: “It has been a long and hard-fought pro bono case, involving specialist psychiatric evidence and issues of cross-cultural sensitivities…

“Had it not been for the fortuitous production of the IMH report, our client would have been sentenced to death or life imprisonment. We are delighted that justice has prevailed to acquit our client this morning.”

Ilechukwu’s acquittal makes it the second time in the last two years that a Nigerian citizen has defeated a capital drugs-related offence in Singapore.

In May 2019, Adili Chibuike Ejike, who had been sentenced to hanging for importing almost 2kg of methamphetamine, was cleared by the Court of Appeal.

Adili had similarly been arrested in 2011 in a related case.

Insurance Payout: Woman Jailed For Cutting Off Own Hand

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo

 

A Slovenian court has sentenced a 22-year-old woman to two years in prison after finding her guilty of cutting off her hand to claim insurance.

The woman’s 30-year-old partner, accused of putting her up to it, was given three years in prison by the Ljubljana District Court on Friday, the country’s news agency STA reported.

It was not clear Saturday if the pair, who had pleaded not guilty, would appeal the verdict.

The woman, Julija Adlesic, was detained early last year for allegedly cutting off her hand at the wrist with a circular saw to get nearly 400,000 euros ($470,000) in insurance compensation.

The woman is thought to have staged the incident, together with three others, earlier this year shortly after the group signed life and injury insurance contracts with five different insurance companies.

The woman was hoping to get around 380,000 euros of compensation and a life-long monthly payout of some 3,000 euros, according to police.

The group intentionally left the hand behind rather than bringing it with them to the hospital, hoping to receive three times higher compensation for permanent disability after what she claimed was an accident, police had said.

But authorities managed to pick up the hand in time, and doctors in a hospital in the capital Ljubljana were able to reattach it.

The average monthly net income is around 1,000 euros in Slovenia.

P&ID Deal: UK Court Ruling, A Source Of Huge Satisfaction – Presidency

Garba Shehu
A file photo of Mr Garba Shehu.

 

The Presidency has lauded the judgement of a court in the United Kingdom on the case involving the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID).

In a statement on Friday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, described the ruling as right and just.

According to the presidential aide, the Presidency welcomes the judgment granting Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions in the $10 billion arbitration case with the company.

He added that the judgment provided a strong prima facie case that the fraudulent gas deal with P&ID and the subsequent judgement debt of $10 billion against Nigeria was a clear attempt to cheat the country of billions of dollars by a company that had not invested one naira in it.

“On the arbitration award, it is a source of huge satisfaction that the UK Court, among others, had ruled that: ‘Nigeria has established a strong prima facie case that the Gas Supply and Processing (GSPA) was procured by bribes paid to insiders as part of a larger scheme to defraud Nigeria.

“There is also a strong prima facie case that that (P&ID) main witness in the arbitration, Mr Quinn, gave a perjured evidence to the Tribunal, and that contrary to that evidence, P&ID was not in the position to perform the contract,” the statement said.

Shehu noted that the Presidency was delighted with the processes that led to the ruling of the English court, stressing that it has given relief to the Nigerian Government to further protect its national assets from criminally minded organisations and individuals.

The views of the UK court, he stated, provided sufficient grounds for the Federal Government to go ahead and challenge the frauds perpetrated by the company and overturn the arbitration award.

In his reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari commended the team of lawyers who represented Nigeria in the matter with P&ID.

He also reassured Nigerians and the international community of his unwavering commitment to fighting corruption in all its forms and manifestation.

Assets Transfer: Court Asks Shoprite To Prove Why Case Is Urgent

Police protect a shoprite store in Abuja amid protests against Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV
Police protect a Shoprite store in Abuja amid protests against Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa on September 4, 2019. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Tuesday asked South African retail company, Shoprite Checkers (PTY) Limited, to show proof that its case seeking to vacate the injunction stopping the transfer of its assets abroad is urgent.

The vacation judge, Justice Nicholas Oweibo, also adjourned until September 7 for hearing after directing Shoprite’s counsel, Funke Adekoya, to file an application to that effect.

Shoprite had filed an application seeking the discharge of a Mareva injunction granted by the court on July 14, 2020, and stopping it from transferring its assets.

A Mareva injunction is a court order freezing a debtor’s assets to prevent them from being taken abroad.

The injunction was granted by Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court, Lagos in favour of a Nigerian firm, AIC Limited.

A file photo of a court gavel.

 

In 2018, the company secured a $10 million judgment against Shoprite in a breach of contract lawsuit and obtained the Mareva injunction against the backdrop of Shoprite’s announcement to pull out of Nigeria.

Shoprite has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court to challenge the $10 million judgment.

In the Mareva injunction, Justice Liman, however, restrained Shoprite “from transferring, assigning, charging, or disposing of its trademark, franchise and intellectual property in a manner that will alter, dissipate or remove these non-cash assets and other assets, including but not limited to trade receivables, trade payables, payment for purchase of merchandise, from within the jurisdiction of the court.”

The judge also mandated the second respondent, Retail Supermarket Nigeria Limited, “to disclose its audited financial statements for the years ending 2018 and 2019, to enable the judgment creditor AIC Ltd determine the judgment debtor’s funds in its custody in order to preserve same in satisfaction of the judgment of the Court of Appeal.”

At the proceedings on Tuesday, Adekoya who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) approached the vacation judge with an application seeking to set aside the Mareva injunction.

However, the judge said he needed to be convinced that the matter was urgent enough to warrant being heard during the court vacation.

Romance Scam: Unilorin Undergraduate To Clear Drainage For Three Months

How I Was Tortured, Asked To Implicate Saraki – Offa Robbery Suspect
A file photo showing the signpost of a Kwara State High Court in Ilorin.

 

A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has convicted and sentenced Akinsanya Ridwan, a 400-level undergraduate of the University of Ilorin to three months of community service for committing a romance scam.

The service requires him to clear the drainage at Bekind filling station near the Tipper Garage at Tanke area, up to the gate of the University of Ilorin commencing from September 2.

Justice Sikiru Oyinloye handed down the judgement on Monday, Dele Oyewale, who is the Head of Media and Publicity at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said in a statement.

Ridwan was sentenced following his arraignment by the Ilorin EFCC zonal office on a count bordering on internet fraud and other fraud-related offences.

The charge read, “That you, Akinsanya Ridwan (a.k.a Alex James) sometime in March 2020 or thereabout at Ilorin, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court attempted to commit an offence of cheating by impersonation by pretending and representing yourself to be a white man called Alex James to an unsuspected white woman, Stewart Sonia, on a dating site called ‘Hangout’, as it is contained in your Gmail account: [email protected] and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 95 of the Penal Code Laws of Northern Nigeria.”

A photo released by the EFCC on August 31, 2020, shows Akinsanya Ridwan who was sentenced to three months of community service.

 

When the charge was read to him in court, the defendant pleaded guilty to the count.

While reviewing the facts of the case, an Assistant Detective Superintendent with the EFCC, Mahmoud Hamman, told the court that the defendant was arrested on March 16 based on intelligence.

“A search was conducted in his house and one Galaxy phone and laptop were recovered. We analysed them and discovered an email box where several fraudulent messages were printed in his presence,” the EFCC officer told the judge.

Delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Oyinloye convicted and sentenced the defendant based on exhibits tendered and the proof of evidence brought before the court.

He ordered the convict to get a notice of clearance from the Registrar of the University of Ilorin and the Kwara State Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service.

The judge warned that a failure to do so would attract Ridwan six months imprisonment.

He also ordered the convict to pay a fine of N50,000, in addition to the community service.

Court Reinstates Three Suspended Ondo Assembly Members

(File Photo) The Ondo State House of Assembly.

 

An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure has reinstated the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Iroju Ogundeji and two other lawmakers.

The affected lawmakers were recently suspended by the leadership of the House over alleged misconduct.

Apart from reinstating the lawmakers, the court also ordered the House to immediately pay all their entitlements with a sum of N5 million compensation to each of them.

In his ruling, the presiding judge, Justice Ademola Bola insisted that it was illegal to prevent an elected legislator from duly representing his or her constituency.

According to Justice Bola, the suspension of the lawmakers violated sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Deputy Speaker and the other two suspended lawmakers were among nine members of the House who declined to sign the impeachment notice of the Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi two months ago, after the latter defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

READ ALSO: Ondo Assembly Suspends Deputy Speaker, One Other

Following their suspension, the lawmakers through their lawyer, Banjo Ayelakin, approached the court to challenge what he described as their unlawful suspension by the parliament.

The suit has the House of Assembly, the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Deputy Majority Leader, the Parliamentary Secretary, and the Clerk of the House as defendants.

Justice Bola in the verdict ruled that the suspension of the Lawmakers violates sections 90, 91, 106 and 117 of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This comes a month after the lawmakers were suspended over an alleged unruly behaviour.

Alleged Debt: Court Dismisses Judiciary Workers’ Suit Against Edo Govt

A file photo of a court gavel.

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria against the Edo State government.

In the suit, the union urged the court to freeze the account of the state government over alleged refusal to obey a court order asking the state to offset the seven months salary arrears owed its members since 2015.

It asked the court to enforce the judgment of a Federal High Court which ruled in their favour.

Ruling on the application on Thursday, Justice Okon Abang explained that the suit was filed in bad faith with the aim of crippling the activities of the state government, a few weeks to a major election.

He insisted that the union adopted a careless and nonchalant approach to enforce the judgment secured since January 2014, having failed to take steps to enforce.

A map of Edo State.

 

The judge questioned why the union surreptitiously approached the court during a vacation to have the entire accounts of the state frozen without stating the exact amount allegedly owed the workers.

While dismissing the suit, he described the action of the applicant as a gold-digging exercise, adding that it was speculative and laced with ulterior motive aimed at satisfying the interests of members of the union to the detriment of the state.

Members of the union had joined their counterparts in the 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2014 to protest over the alleged failure of the state governments to grant autonomy to the judiciary.

Police Paraded Evans Hastily Without His Statement, Lawyer Tells Court

This file photo shows Evans after he was arrested in 2017.

 

The trial of alleged kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, popularly known as Evans continued on Thursday at the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.

Evans’ counsel, Mr Victor Opara, told the court that the police hastily paraded the suspect without obtaining a statement from him.

The lawyer was cross-examining an Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Inspector Idowu Haruna, in the trial-within-trial of Evans and his co-defendants for the attempted kidnap of the Chairman of the Young Shall Grow Motors, Vincent Obianodo.

He told the court that his client was arrested on June 10, 2017, and was paraded the next day as a kidnapper without first giving a formal police statement.

“His capture was celebrated nationwide, he was paraded on June 11, 2017, and you immediately concluded that you had arrested a notorious kidnapper before his statement was taken.

“The statement of the defendant was recorded for the first time on July 1, 2017. His statement was taken without his lawyer being present,” Evans’ lawyer told the police officer.

He added, “I can also confront you with photographs alleging serious beating of the first defendant (Onwuamadike) while he was in your custody.”

The IPO, in his response, admitted that Evans’ statement was not taken immediately he was arrested at his Magodo residence in Lagos.

He also testified that the first defendant did not say that he would opt out of having a lawyer present.

Under re-examination by the prosecution counsel, Mr Yusuf Sule, the police officer explained why Evans’ statement was not immediately taken by the police when he was apprehended.

“Immediately the first defendant was arrested, he gave numerous information on other gang members and his victims. It took us a lot of time to be able to investigate and get information on this case.

“We had to liaise with the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of FESTAC, that is where he gave his statement,” Haruna said.

Evans and his co-defendants are facing seven counts of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, attempt to kidnap, and sales and transfer of firearms.

According to the prosecution, they committed the offences on August 27, 2013, on Third Avenue in FESTAC.

Meanwhile, the court also took testimonies in another related case involving Evans and Victor Aduba, a dismissed member of the Nigerian Army.

Both men allegedly kidnapped a businessman, Mr Sylvanus Ahamonu, and the police said they held him hostage for at least nine weeks and collected a ransom of $420,000 from his family.

In the case, Evans counsel also claimed that the police hastily concluded that his client collected a $420,000 as ransom from Ahamonu based solely on the allegation of the complainant.

He said, “He wasn’t arrested on June 28, 2014, on the day of the alleged incident but years later, and prior to the victim (Ahamonu) giving his statement, you had not had any contact with the victim.”

“In Exhibit A (the statement), the victim talked about assassins and not kidnappers. He said they talked about killing him and not kidnapping him.”

“The $420,000 were paid in three tranches by Ahamonu’s brother, Dominic ($200,000), Ahamonu’s wife ($200,000), and one Onyebuchi ($20,000).

“Did you go through bank records to ascertain whether money was withdrawn, and the source of the alleged ransom? Did you also trace the phone numbers used to negotiate the alleged ransom? Did you do a fingerprint analysis of the guns recovered from their alleged hideout at Igando?” Opara asked the IPO.

Responding, Haruna testified that the allegation of $420,000 ransom being paid was based solely on Ahamonu’s statement to the police.

He added that bank records were not traced during the investigation.

The police officer said, “We did not do a fingerprint analysis of the guns recovered from their hideout at Igando. For security reasons, I cannot reveal the numbers used to call during the incident.”

“We did not match those numbers with those used to call the defendant due to issues with the service provider. The $420,000 ransom was paid in the dead of the night,” Haruna revealed.

While being cross-examined by Aduba’s counsel, Mr Emmanuel Ochai, Haruna explained the role of the dismissed soldier in the kidnap of Ahamonu.

“The second defendant (Aduba) did not negotiate ransom; he collected the ransom.

“After he was arrested, he was first taken to an army barracks for disciplinary action. Four AK47 and AK49 rifles were used for the operation,” Haruna stated.

Court Strikes Out All Cases On UNILAG Crisis

A file photo of the main gate of UNILAG.

 

The National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos has struck out two cases in respect of the crisis rocking the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

Justice Jeremiah Essien struck out the suits on Tuesday following the formal withdrawal of the applications filed by lawyers in relation to the crisis.

One of the suits was filed by Professor Olutoyin Ogundipe to challenge his removal as the vice-chancellor by the Governing Council under the chairmanship of Dr. Wale Babalakin – a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

The other suit was filed by the Senate of the university to challenge Professor Ogundipe’s removal and his replacement with Professor Theophilus Soyombo by the governing council.

In the first case, Professor Ogundipe’s lawyers, Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), told the court that their client had filed a notice of discontinuance.

The lawyers also drew the attention of the court to certain news reports in the media which falsely indicated that the court sat on Friday last week and refused an ex-parte application filed by Professor Ogundipe.

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

Justice Essien dismissed the news and said that since he did not sit on the case formally, such a report must be part of the fake news menace currently plaguing the nation.

Professor Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), who represented the university’s Senate, also applied for the withdrawal of the suit filed by the Senate.

There was no objection to the withdrawal of both suits by Mr Tola Oshobi (SAN), who represented Dr Babalakin in both cases.

Following the applications for withdrawal, Justice Essien struck out the suits.

He encouraged authorities of the institution to resolve the raging controversy amicably, stressing that such was not good for the image of a university.

The judge also said he was glad that the parties elected to withdraw the suit, thereby saving him from having to make pronouncements.

Benue Lawmaker Remanded In Prison Over Criminal Conspiracy, Kidnapping

The lawmaker representing Katsina Ala East state constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Honourable Jonathan Agbidye being taken to prison custody for alleged criminal conspiracy, armed robbery and kidnapping on August 21, 2020.

 

A Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court presided over by Mr Isaac Ajim on Friday remanded the lawmaker representing Katsina-Ala East state constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Honourable Jonathan Agbidye in prison custody for alleged criminal conspiracy, armed robbery and kidnapping.

Agbidye of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was remanded with one Denen Zuamo of Katsina-Ala town for the alleged offence.

Earlier, the police prosecutor, Fidelis Ogbobe told the court that on May 22, 2018, a Toyota Hilux van with registration number SWA-215-FM and other valuables belonging to Apin Public Health Initiatives was snatched at gunpoint along Katsina-Ala -Tordonga road in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state to an unknown destination.

He said that during police investigation, the duo was arrested with the said vehicle was re-registered as MKD-992-AD in Makurdi.

The prosecutor said a further investigation by the police revealed that Hon. Agbidye, Zuamo and others now at large conspired and belonged to a gang of armed robbers and terrorists headed by the notorious and wanted kingpin, Terwase Akwaza alias ‘Ghana’ who snatched, robbed and abducted the staff of Apin Public Health Initiatives.

He said the accused persons committed an offence contrary to Section 1(2) A and B and section 6(b) of the Robbery and Fire Arms (Special Provisions) Act, 2004, and Hostage, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Law of Benue State, 2017.

No plea was taken for want of jurisdiction.

READ ALSO: Mali Coup: Jonathan To Lead ECOWAS Envoys On ‘Search For Solutions’

The prosecuting counsel told the court that investigation into the matter was still on and asked the court for another date to enable the police to complete their investigation.

Counsel to the accused persons, Barrister Terhemen Oscar Aorabe did not oppose the application for another date.

He, however, informed the court that he will formally file and apply for the bail of his client on another date.

The trial Magistrate adjourned the case to October 12, 2020, for further mention.

As at the time of this report, Hon. Agbidye and Mr Zuamo were being conveyed to the Federal Correctional Facility in Makurdi.

Money Laundering: Court Jails Two Lebanese In Possession Of $890,000

The two Lebanese jailed by the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt over money laundering. Credit: @officialEFCC

 

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has sentenced two Lebanese to two years in prison each over $890,000 found in their possession.

The duo – Chamseddine Waell Mohammed and Dina Jihad Khali were said to have attempted to smuggle the foreign currency out of the country before they were arrested by the Nigerian Customs Service and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a statement issued on Thursday by EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, the anti-graft agency secured their conviction before Justice I.  M. Sani of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.

According to the statement, the Lebanese pleaded guilty to separate one count charge of money laundering preferred against them by the agency.

The offences run contrary to Section 2 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 2 (5) of the same Act.

READ ALSO: EFCC Probes Two Lebanese In Possession Of $890,000

At the court hearing, EFCC prosecuting Counsel, Aso Larrys Peters tendered some documents, which included a letter of invitation by Customs and statements of the defendants, as exhibits.

Similarly, a police officer and EFCC witness, Macaulay Olayinka, while being led in evidence by prosecution counsel, said the money recovered from the suspects had been deposited with the Rivers branch of the Central Bank of Nigeria for safe keeping.

“The said amount was found inside their Luggage on board a chartered flight with registration number 9HVFF to Lebanon.

“They were apprehended by the Nigeria Custom Service, Area One Command, Port Harcourt and handed over to the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the EFCC on August 12, 2020 for further investigation.

“The Convicts, Khali with Passport Number LR152975 (Republic of Lebanon) was arrested with  $670,000 while Mohammed with Passport Number LR0356598 (Republic of Lebanon) had in his possession the sum of $220,000,” he said.

Thereafter, Peter urged the Court to sentence the defendants.

However, Counsel to the defendants, Paul Ejiga begged the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first time offenders who have no previous criminal record.

Subsequently, Justice Sani sentenced the defendants to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N1million each.

The judge also ordered the “undeclared amount” to be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Arotile’s Death: Suspect Charged For Culpable Homicide     

Suspected killers of Tolulope Arotile.

 

A Magistrate Court sitting in Kaduna State has charged the first suspect, Nehemiah Adejor, who drove the car that killed the Air Force Officer, Tolulope Arotile for culpable homicide and criminal conspiracy but not punishable by death.

The second and third suspects, Folorunsho Igbekele Faith and Gbayegun Deji were charged in connection with the death of Nigeria’s first female fighter helicopter, flying officer Tolulope Arotile.

However, when the case came up at the Magistrate Court 1 on Thursday, the prosecution Counsel, DSP Martins D. Leo, prayed the court to discharge the second and third suspects, as their investigation did not find them wanting.

The DPP in his submission, told the court that there is no premeditation in the death of the Flying Officer Arotile, but there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the 1st suspect, Nehemiah Adejor for culpable homicide not punishable with death.

Ruling on the motion, the presiding Justice Benjamin Hassan, discharged the second and third suspects, based on the police investigation, which did not find them wanting in addition to the legal advice from the state’s Director of Public Prosecution, Bayero Dari that they have no case to answer.

READ ALSO: N500,000 Awaits Anyone With Information On Suspected Oyo Serial Killer – Police

The suspects were arrested and arraigned by the Kaduna State Police Command.

Arotile was knocked down and killed by a vehicle driven by her secondary school mate, Nehemiah Adejor on July 14, 2020.

See The Full Legal Advice:

The legal advice was read that, “on the 14 day of July 2020” the suspect all male of Auta Alkali Farin Gida, Mando Kaduna inside a Kia Sorento with Registration. No AZ 478 MKA Kaduna being driven by the 1st suspect sited the deceased (NAF/4512F Flying officer Tolulope Arotile) at NAF Base Kawo, Kaduna, whom they identified as their school mate at Air force Secondary school, Kaduna.

“The 1st suspect, full of enthusiasm, recklessly reversed the car to meet the deceased and in the process ran over her consequent upon which the deceased lay unconsciously on the ground. The deceased was rushed to NAFX64 Base Hospitàl-for- medical attention but was later pronounced dead by the medical Doctors at the Hospital.

“The suspects were arrested and taken to 461 NAF Hospital Kaduna for toxicology test and results were all negative. They were later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Kaduna on the 24th day of July 2020 for further discreet investigation.

“Police investigation reveals that all the suspects attended the same secondary school with the deceased and upon sighting her the 1st suspect recklessly reversed the car and eventually ran over the deceased which led to her untimely death.

“The 1st suspect admitted in his cautionary statement that on the 14th day of July, 2020 he was together with the two other suspects in a car KIA Sorento he was driving, when he saw the deceased walking along the roadside of the Air force Base.

“He informed the other suspects who screamed enthusiastically after which he stopped and started reversing the car to meet the deceased and exchange pleasantries. In the process of which he mistakenly ran over her and she later died. He denied having any premeditated plan to kill her.

“The 2nd suspect also stated in his cautionary statement that on the fateful day he along with the 1st and 3rd suspect went on hangout and on their way back the 1st suspect cited the deceased whom they later saw and became extensively happy. That the 1st suspect stopped the car and began to reverse same to meet up with the deceased and exchange greetings since they have not met a long time.

“That when he noticed the 1st suspect was driving speedily off the road, he cautioned him, but unfortunately he got confused and ran over the deceased. He outrightly denied any arrangement to cause the death of the deceased.

“He added that being a trained nurse he assisted in resuscitating the deceased at the hospital, but all attempt proved abortive until she was pronounced clinically dead.

“In his cautionary statement, the 3rd suspect corroborated the statement of the 2nd suspect in all material particulars as to the events of the 14th day of July, 2020, as it relates to the death of Flying Officer Tolutope Arotile at NAF Base Kaduna.

“It is clear also from the investigation done; the 2nd and 3rd suspects were passengers and friends of the 1st suspect who was driving the vehicle.

“From the foregoing there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the 1st suspect for the offence of Culpable Homicide not punishable with death contrary to Section 191 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law, 2017 as there is no premeditation in the death of the deceased.

“There is however insufficient evidence against the 2nd and 3rd suspects as the entire investigation did not disclose any offence against them other than being passengers in the vehicle of the 1st suspect.

“To prosecute them therefore will be embarking on an evidential conjuncture totally unknown to our Criminal Justice System, they can be discharged accordingly pursuant to Section 125 (6) (e) of the Kaduna State Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2017 and thereafter be used as prosecution witnesses in the trial of the 1st suspect,” the legal advice stated.