From Ayo Olowu, Osogbo
For allegedly assaulting a traditional ruler, the Salu of Edun-Abon, Oba Kehinde Oladepo and setting his palace ablaze, an Osogbo Chief Magistrates’ Court has ordered that two Chiefs in the community and one other man be remanded at the Ilesa Prison Custody.
The three defendants, Chief Olatidoye Oyedokun M, 75, Chief Odebode Elijah M, 60, Gbenga Olasunbo M, 55 are standing trial over charges ranging from conspiracy, arson, assault occasioning harm to stealing before the court.
They were alleged to have conspired with others still at large on December 19, 2018 at Edun-Abon in the Osogbo Magisterial District, to commit felony, misdemeanor to wit malicious damage and conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause the breach of peace.
Equally, the defendants were alleged to have on the same date, time and place caused injury on the right leg of Oba Kehinde Oladepo and destroyed properties worth N50,000,000 in an inferno they were alleged to have masterminded in the monarch’s palace.
The Police prosecutor, Inspector Joshua Oladoye said the offences were contrary to and punishable under Section 355, 516 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol II Laws of Osun State of Nigeria 2003.
The three defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to all the count charges when they were read to them.
Counsel to the three defendants, Mrs. B.Y.A. Dada applied for their bail in the most liberal terms, adding that they are presumed innocent of the charges until the contrary is proved.
Dada told the court that the three defendants are respected people in the society who have reliable sureties to stand for them and are ready to stand trial.
However, the prosecutor, Oladoye, who opposed the bail application, drew the attention of the court to the fact that the matter bothered on conspiracy in which other defendants in the case are still at large.
He noted that granting bail to the defendants at this stage will make it difficult for the police to apprehend other suspects still at large and jeopardize further investigation.
Oladoye added that granting bail to the defendants will be counter-productive in view of the lingering tension in Edun-Abon Community.
In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate Mrs R.A. Olayemi held that though bail is the right of the accused, in view of the fact that there is lingering tension in Edun-Abon, granting bail to the defendants will aggravate tension in the community and expose them to unwarranted attacks.
She, therefore, averred that their bail application would be considered on the next adjournment date.
Chief Magistrate Olayemi ordered that the three defendants be remanded at the Ilesa Prison Custody and adjourned the matter till January 28, 2019.
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