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Ex-NURTW boss, Tokyo, three others granted bail

Posted by By AKEEB ALARAPE, COSMAS OMEGOH and GBENGA ABEGUNRIN, Ibadan on 2006/02/04 | Views: 630 |

Ex-NURTW boss, Tokyo, three others granted bail


It was another round of wild jubilation, Thursday, as the camp of the strongman of Ibadan politics, Chief Lamidi Adedibu and his supporters celebrated the release of the former Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola, a.k.a. Tokyo.

It was another round of wild jubilation, Thursday, as the camp of the strongman of Ibadan politics, Chief Lamidi Adedibu and his supporters celebrated the release of the former Chairman, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Alhaji Lateef Akinsola, a.k.a. Tokyo.

Also released along with Tokyo were, Messrs Fatai Lamina, Yunusa Fatai and Oriade Adeleke. The four accused persons have been standing trial since 2004 over the murder of one Adeniran Onabole, a.k.a Yellow, an NURTW leader from Ogbomoso.

The case with suit number I/16C/2004 has passed through three different courts before it eventually got to Court 16, presided over by Justice Iyabo Yerima, who granted the accused persons bail yesterday at around 9a.m based on the application filed by Tokyo’s counsel, Mr. Michael Lana, last week.

Daily Sun learnt that at the filing of the bail application, counsel to the state government, Mr. Bayo Adegbite did not object, neither did he file any counter motion.

The no-objection stand of the counsel, it was learnt encouraged the presiding judge to fix February 6 for ruling. But with the objection of Tokyo’s lawyer that the date was too far, the judge requested for the GSM phone numbers of counsel to both parties with a promise to call them whenever she was ready with her ruling.

Yesterday morning, at about 9a.m. news filtered into the town that the strongman of the road transporters had been granted bail.

Tokyo’s release was followed by wild jubilation, with his supporters, who all along had shifted their base to the Molete area of the city moving enmasse to the vicinity of the Agodi Prison yard where a victory party was held, with a standby musician and almost all routes leading to the ever-busy bus-stop logjammed.

In the ruling of Justice Yerima, she hinged her decision in granting the bail on the prolongation of the case as well as the ill-health of the accused persons.

"Going by the history of this case, which has passed through three courts already, the delay occasioned by the prosecution, the ill-health of the accused persons, who are not given adequate treatment, the fact that the accused persons are assumed to be innocent until the contrary is proved as enshrined in Section 35(5) of the constitution, and the power of the High Court to grant bail to accused persons standing trial for a capital offence.

"Having considered all facts contained in the applicant’s affidavit, submissions of counsel, statutory and case laws, I find no reason to further order or allow to be incarcerated, the accused persons and they are hereby released on bail, pending the hearing and determination of the charges against them", Yerima stated.

The bail conditions were given as N1million naira for each of the three accused persons and two sureties each in the sums of N500,000:00, who must not only be a resident of Ibadan but be owners of landed properties in the ancient city.

All the accused persons were also mandated to report every Monday to the Divisional police Officer, DPO, at Iyaganku Police Station, until the final determination of the charges against them.
Meanwhile, the state government has washed its hands off the release of Tokyo, saying it was purely a judicial affair.

Speaking through the Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Diran Odeyemi, the government said the release of Tokyo has nothing to do with it.

"We didn’t order Tokyo’s release. We don’t want to be linked with his release. We don’t have any input in it. If indeed, he is released, we believe that due process must have been followed. His release should not cause any commotion", Odeyemi stated, urging the populace to go about their normal business.
Also reacting to the bail, Barrister Kunle Kalejaiye said there was nothing wrong about the development as it was legal.

Kalejaiye, who defended Senator Iyiola Omisore at the latter’s trial over the assassination of former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, said there was nothing unusual about murder charge that should be devoid of bail condition.

"You know I have handled a murder case before and I too applied for bail which was granted. So, there was nothing usual about murder charge. And mind you, the judge that handled the matter (Tokyo’s case) is one of best judges we have in Oyo State. She is very strict and I know she would looked at the case dispassionately before granting the bail application. So, what happened is not out of the way in law", Kalejaiye explained.

However, trouble is brewing for Chief Lamidi Adedibu, the acclaimed strongman of Ibadan politics, as a group, the Ibadan Descendants Union, Lagos Chapter, is clamouring for the stripping of his chieftaincy title and subsequent banishment to alonely village.

In a statement signed by Chief Fasasi Adelabu and Chief Adeleke Oyekanmi, Chairman and Secretary of the group respectively, the group is asking the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Yinusa Ogundipe Arapason 1, to visit Chief Adebibu with the punishment.

" We call on Your Royal Highness and members of your council to withdraw Chief Adedibu's chieftaincy title and banish him to a faraway village where he will purge himself of his satanic attitude" the group demanded from the Olubadan.

The group's grouse with the politician was that he was the mastermind behind last month's removal of the former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Rahidi Ladoja. The group which claimed to have conducted investigations into the ex governor's removal said it has found Chief Adedibu guilty of the act and so should be punished.

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