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We are still reviewing case file, Ogun AG says

The police in Ogun State have charged three #EndSARS protesters with attempted murder and vandalising a Lexus Sports Utility Vehicle worth N100 million. The three protesters – Adeniji Sodiq (25), Mutairu Faruq (19), and Olatoye Joseph (23) – were also accused of using dangerous weapons.

The defendants were brought before a Magistrate’s Court in Abeokuta yesterday. However, the plea of the defendants was not taken. In the suit, marked M/SC/29/2020, the police preferred four charges against the defendants.

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One of the charges read, “That you, Adeniji Sodiq ‘m’, Mutairu Faruq ‘m’, Olatoye Olalekan Josep ‘m’ on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid magisterial district did attempt to kill one Ajagbusi Taofik ‘m’ by hitting him with dangerous weapons and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 320(1) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun State, 2006.

That you, Adeniji Sodiq ‘m’, Mutairu Faruq ‘m’, Olatoye Olalekan Josep ‘m’ on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid magisterial district did unlawfully and maliciously damaged Lexus 570 Bullet proof 2019 model valued N100, 000, 000 property of one Alhaji Olabode Kacheef Oyedele ‘m’ and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 451 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Ogun State, 2006.”

The police applied for an ex parte order to detain the three defendants for 60 days to allow them to investigate the case thoroughly. However, the court ordered that they be detained for 14 days.

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The Ogun State Police Command had last week arrested 31 protesters. About 28 of them were released while three were charged.

MEANWHILE, clarifying the matter, the Office of the Attorney-General of Ogun State, has described as false the report that the individuals have been tried or convicted of attempted murder, conspiracy or any other offences.  

In a statement by Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, it stated that that none of the three individuals has been convicted of any offence.

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“The next steps in the criminal justice process are as follows: The police investigation case file detailing the evidence against the individuals has now been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of the Ogun State Ministry of Justice.
 
“The Ministry of Justice will independently review the case file and determine whether, on the available evidence, any charges should be filed against the individuals and, if so, the most appropriate charges; the individuals, if the Ministry decides that charges are indeed warranted, will then be immediately arraigned at the High Court of Ogun State, where their pleas will be taken prior to commencement of trial.
 
“The arrested individuals are, and will at all times continue to be, entitled to legal representation and applications for their bail can be made before any court of competent jurisdiction.

“The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring that due process is followed in all cases, including the aforementioned matter, and that citizens’ constitutional rights are respected at all times throughout the criminal justice process.

“Members of the public may wish to know that the Police are bound to investigate both the incriminating and exculpatory aspects of any case. We would therefore like to encourage any member of the public with relevant information on the events of Saturday, 10 October 2020 to come forward to provide a statement to the police.” 

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