By Oluwadamilola Akinduro
The Ondo State Security outfit, codenamed Amotekun Corps on Thursday arraigned 10 men for alleged kidnapping in the state.
Nineteen other persons were also brought before the court for various criminal offences of conspiracy, burglary, rape, stealing, and illegal possession of firearms.
The 10 defendants include Umaru Ibrahim, Ali Muhammad, Umaru Umaru, Abubakar Ali, Isah Jinadu, Ayuba Matu, Musa Adamu, Abubakar Bello, Isiaku Saliu, Adamu Abdul.
They were charged with six counts bordering on conspiracy, kidnapping, armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.
According to the prosecution, the defendants and others at large, committed the offences between the months of April and June, 2023 between Owo and Akure road, Ago-Oyinbo in Akure, Igbatoro/Famuwagun Camp, Osi all in Akure North Local Government area of Ondo State.
The state prosecutor, O.F Akerodolu, informed the court that the defendants kidnapped three persons; Musa Kareem, Odette Regina and Salami Yekini and demanded various ransoms.
The defendants were also alleged to have raped Odey Regina and also robbed one Lawrence Emmanuel, while they went away with his motorcycle and the sum of N450,000.
Based on the nature of the offences committed, Akerodolu urged the court to remand them at the Olokuta Correctional Centre, pending the issuance of advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The offences contravene Section 516, of the Criminal Code Law of Ondo State, 2006, Section 3(ii)(b) of Ondo State Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law, 2010, Section 3(2)(c) Ondo State Violence Against Persons(Prohibition) Laws of Ondo State 2021.
The charges were read to the defendants, but their pleas were not taken.
The defence counsels led by A.M. Obafemi, told the court that the oral application sought by the prosecutor was not tenable.
Obafemi prayed the court for an adjournment to enable the defence reply the application on points of law.
He stressed that the defendant have been in the Amotekun custody for 30 days and their liberty was still ‘dangling.’
Magistrate Damilola Sekoni, adjourned the case till August 21, for ruling on the application.
Meanwhile, another five suspects, Umaru Garuba, Bashiru Musa, Lawal Sule, Badamosi Ayuba were arraigned for illegal possession of a gun.
The prosecution said the defendants committed the offences on about July 28, 2023 at about 2:30 at Iju, Akure North Local Government area of the state.
The defendants were arraigned on three counts of conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms and breach of peace.
The prosecutor told the court that the defendants had a gun without valid licence in their possession.
He added that the defendants also go about armed in public without lawful occasion, and caused terror to persons living in the area.
The defendants all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Magistrate, in his ruling admitted the defendants to N500,000 bail each with two sureties each in like sum and adjourned the case till September 21, 2023, for hearing.
In the same vein, another two suspects, Wasiu Isau and Tunde Adeyemi, were arraigned for stealing and damaging a community’s pumping machine.
The duo allegedly committed the offences on about 5:00pm on July 29, 2023 at Okitipupa, Odigbo Local Government area of the state.
The prosecution informed the court that the defendants stole and damaged a pumping machine valued at N50,000, belonging to one Felix Ayara.
The first defendant, Isau pleaded guilty to the charges against him while the second defendant pleaded not guilty.
The magistrate cautioned and discharged the first defendant for being truthful and granted the second defendant, Adeyemi, N50,000 bail with two sureties in like sum and adjourned till September 21, 2023 for hearing.
Also, five men who specialized in stealing motorcycles were docked.
The suspects; Stephen Taye, Femi Sunday, Hycent Chinedu, Sodiq Sheu, and Sanni Lawal were arraigned on eight counts of stealing and receiving of motorcycles.
The defendants, according to the prosecution, committed the offences on August 4, 2023 in various locations in Ondo and Ore.
Akeredolu alleged that the defendants at Elewure, in Ondo West Local Government area stole a red colour Boxer motorcycle valued at N400,000, property of one Waliu Raheemi
The defendants at Ondo town also stole two motorcycles of different brands valued at N450,000, property of one David Samson, while also on same day, they stole another Honda motorcycle valued at N400,000.
The prosecution also alleged that the fifth defendant, Sanni Lawal, at about July 7, 2023, received motorcycles, despite that he knew that they were stolen.
He was said to have bought all the motorcycles for N65,000.
Other defendants arraigned for burglary and stealing were a teenager, Olamilekan Akinola and one Ojo Arowolo.
The defendants who could not perfect their bails were taken to Olokuta Correctional Centre.