LAGOS – A Lagos State Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ebute-Meta on Friday dismissed the murder charge preferred against nine members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos.
Those freed by Chief Magistrate Alex Komolafe on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), exonerating them of the killing of Apapa Local Government Area PDP Chairman, Adeniyi Aborishade, on July 21, are: Rotimi Kujore, 44; Fatai Adele, 62; Ismaila Abiola, 50; Amos Fawole, 65; Victoria Falowo, 42; Mukaila Odukoya, 54; Isaac Oropo, 55; Muhammed Babangida, 37; and Ugochukwu Nwoke, 50.
However, the court refused to discharge Kehinde Fasasi, 61, the 10th defendant, who was only granted bail in the sum N400,000.
The politicians were arraigned by the police on July 25 alongside Moshood Salvador, chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the PDP for alleged conspiracy and unlawful killing.
The magistrate remanded them in Kirikiri Prison following their not guilty plea and adjourned for the DPP’s advice. But Salvador, through his counsel Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), challenged his remand and sought a dismissal of the charge, among others, at the High Court.
When the matter, came up before Justice Obafemi Adamson of the Ikeja High Court on August 14, an Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Olaitan Soetan, said there was a “development” regarding Salvador’s prayers.
The judge’s attention was drawn to the DPP’s report to the lower court recommending the defendants’ discharge for want of evidence.
The report, endorsed by Lagos State Attorney-General, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, advised the police to release the suspects and intensify the hunt for the actual killers.
It, however, advised the police to charge Fasasi with disorderly conduct contrary to Section 168(d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State for causing the fracas that led to the incident.
Pedro affirmed the new state of affairs and told the court that “the matter has been overtaken by circumstances.” He urged the court to dismiss the charge.
Ruling, Justice Adamson freed the defendants based on the DPP’s advice.