The Lagos State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Yaba, on Wednesday, set free a 15-year-old girl, who was arraigned for murder.
The teenager was arraigned on March 24, 2020, on one count of murder.
The defendant stabbed one Babatunde Ishola to death while he was allegedly trying to rape her on March 7, 2020.
The deceased, who was a friend to the defendant’s father, reportedly invited her to his house to assist him to fetch water and allegedly attempted to rape her.
The defendant reportedly picked a knife from the room and stabbed Ishola to death.
The teenager had pleaded not guilty to the charge and the magistrate ordered that she should be remanded in the Correctional Home for Girls, Idi-Araba, and adjourned the case for the state Director of Public Prosecutions’ advice.
At the resumption of proceedings on Wednesday, Magistrate Philip Ojo struck out the charge based on the DPP’s advice that the case lacked the ingredients of murder.
Magistrate Ojo held that the case lacked sufficient facts to establish a prima facie case of murder against the teenager.
He ruled, “The ingredients required to prove the offence of murder against the suspect were not all present from the facts of this case and also an intention to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to the deceased cannot be established.
“It is a settled law that in a case of murder, defences raised by the evidence, whether specifically put up by the suspect or not, must be properly considered and no matter how weak or stupid a defence raised by a suspect may appear, it must be properly considered. So, the defendant is hereby discharged and acquitted.”
Reacting to the judgment, the Director, Lagos State Office of the Public Defender, Dr Babajide Martins, expressed satisfaction with the decision of the court to discharge and acquit the teenager of the murder charge.
He also appreciated the advice of the DPP on the matter, adding that the DPP made it possible for the girl to be released because no prima facie case was established against her.
Drivers Along Badagry Expressway Protest Touts, Security Agencies Extortion, Passengers Stranded
Drivers of Lagos yellow commercial buses, popularly known as danfo plying the Mile 2/Badagry expressway on Friday protested against extortion by touts and security operatives.
The majority of the drivers participating in the protest are currently occupying Ketu bus stop, along the road.
SaharaReporters gathered that the development has left many passengers around the area stranded.
According to the drivers, they have no more money to pay the louts, who take over N1, 000 from them for each vehicle daily.
The protesters added that there are too many security checkpoints on the expressway, and that they are being extorted excessively.
They also complained about harassment and extortion by police, Vehicle Inspection Officers and Federal Road Safety Corps officials which they said had worsened recently.
Some of the areas affected are Agbara to Iyana-Era, Igbo-Elerin, Okokomaiko, and Iyana Iba.
SaharaReporters learnt that some commuters were left with the option of commercial motorcycles, who charged N3, 000 from Iyana-Era to Mile 2.
“A lot of commuters plying the road are presently stranded and may remain so but the drivers are determined to keep up the strike until the extortion of drivers on the road is stopped by the government.
“The only major reservation expressed by some is that the police may be deployed to unleash terror on the drivers anytime soon.
“They say while some may be arrested, they are conscious that many of them may be killed by the erratic officers who would be deployed to crush the strike by any means necessary,” a resident of the area told SaharaReporters.
Police Probe Gang-Rape of Akwa Ibom Teenage Girl by Three Men
The Akwa Ibom State Police Command said it had begun investigation into the case of a 16-year-old girl, who was gang-raped by three men in the Eyoabasi community, Oron Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that the victim was gang-raped around 7pm on February 18, 2021, when she was coming back from a coaching class.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim, a Senior Secondary School 1 pupil, was allegedly attacked by three men and dragged into an uncompleted building and raped at gunpoint.
The victim, who managed to escape from the men, was said to have been rescued by a passerby when she fell.
It was gathered that the matter was reported at the Oron Divisional Police Headquarters.
However, the family accused police personnel at the station of trying to cover up the matter.
The victim’s uncle, Robinson Edumoh, alleged that the officer-in-charge of the juvenile, women and children unit at the station wrote a different statement for one of the suspects, who is in police custody and allegedly confessed to the crime, adding that the officer tried to turn the case against the victim.
He said, “My sister was directed to the woman in charge of the juvenile welfare unit, but she told her to come back the next Monday to collect the medical form.
“I called the DPO to tell him what happened and he requested that I should direct my sister to his office; she went and met with him and my sister got the medical form and took it to the hospital and the victim made a statement that she was attacked at gunpoint, but the police officers handling the case refused to carry out any search of the arrested suspect’s house to see if they would recover any arm until after a week.
“The officer-in-charge fabricated a statement for the arrested suspect that the victim said he was not involved. I met the DPO and he summoned the IPO and the OC, and when they got to his office, he asked her where the OC got the statement from and she started trading blames; so, the DPO ordered that the case file should be re-assigned to another officer and a search warrant should be executed to search the suspect’s house and the scene of the incident.”
Edumoh also alleged that after the Divisional Police Officer gave an order for the suspect’s house to be searched, the OC insisted on collecting money from the victim’s mother before executing the search warrant.
The victim’s uncle added that until he called the DPO again, the OC did not conduct a search on the suspect’s apartment.
He added, “I called the DPO again to tell him what the OC was saying; the DPO was mad at her before they were able to go to the suspect’s house on Friday, where they recovered live ammunition, and at the scene of the incident, the victim’s pants and her menstrual pad that the suspects tore were recovered one week after the incident.”
When contacted by our correspondent, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, refuted the claim that the police were covering up the matter.
He said the matter had been transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department in Uyo.
Macdon stated, “The matter has been transferred to the state command, because the divisional headquarters have no right to handle a rape case; we have a special section at the state CID that handles such cases, and if the police are trying to cover up the case, they won’t have gone to execute a search warrant, recover the victim’s pants, pad and locally-made ammunition, and arrest a suspect.
Gunmen Attack Passenger Bus, kill One, Abduct Passengers in Osun
Some unknown gunmen, Tuesday evening, killed a passenger and abducted some others along Osogbo/Ibokun road.
According to sources in the area, the incident occurred between 7:30 and 8:00 pm near Ajebandele, a village in the Obokun Local Government area, about three kilometres to Osogbo, the state capital.
The gunmen had reportedly attacked travellers and shot dead a man, whose name is not immediately available, while an unspecified number of passengers were also abducted.
The Field Commander, Amotekun Corps in Osun, Amitolu Shittu, who was at the scene of the crime, confirmed the incident.
Amitolu said the deceased was shot dead by the attackers, whom he said carried AK-47 riffles, adding that search and rescue operation had commenced for those abducted.