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Not guilty as charged

Posted by By Moshood Adebayo, Abeokuta on 2007/01/25 | Views: 376 |

Not guilty as charged


Three people standing trial for conspiracy to murder and murder had cause to thank God recently when they were discharged and acquitted.

•Court discharges and acquits three on murder case

Three people standing trial for conspiracy to murder and murder had cause to thank God recently when they were discharged and acquitted.

To show their appreciation to God and the trial judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, for the acqittal, the trio of Ayeni idowu, Sogo Adebiyi and Kolawole Adebiyi who had stood at the witness box, went flat on the court floor.

The accused had been standing trial before the Ilaro High Court on a two-count charge of conspiracy to murder and murder since December, 1999.

Outside the court room, one of the lucky trio, Kolawole Adebiyi, who was clutching a Bible, went down on his knees and prayed for the miracle of their acquittal.
“I thank God, who made it possible for me and my brother to be released. I have been in detention and prison since 1999, precisely 30th, December. I have seen hell, but I thank God for His mercy and protection over me and my colleagues.

“I thank God and the judge, who patiently listened to our defence put up by the Legal Aid Council (LAC). But for the intervention of God and the involvement of LAC, we would probably, have died in detention. We had nobody. Our parents died in the cause of this trial, while some of our relations left us to our fate. We thank God.

“It is not by our power or myth that we were set free, but God’s will that made us a free man, seven years after being imprisoned. I have learnt much in police detention and prison.
“God has really vindicated us. For me in particular, I know nothing about this case. I was arrested by the police, while visiting my brother, Sogo. I have learnt a lot. I have seen the need to pray always even when you think you don’t have money.”

The Zonal Director of the LAC, Barrister Fatai Bakre, who expressed delight at the judgment, said the Council became interested in the matter after visiting them at the prison.
According to him, “the evidence shows that somebody boarded a motorcycle to take him to somewhere. When they got to their destination, the motorcyclist, Emmanuel Afolabi, was murdered.
“Who murdered him? Nobody knows, but the three accused persons, who were just discharged, were arrested in respect of the death of the cyclist. The evidence led with respect to that particular charge fell short of what was required to secure conviction, so the court observed rightly that the evidence the state have against the accused was not sufficient enough.

“The evidence that somebody died is actual fact. There is also convincing evidence that somebody was killed because the medical report shows that the young man was strangulated or something like that, but it does not link the three accused persons. It was on the basis of that the court said there was no nexus between them and the offence allegedly committed. That eventually led to their being discharged and acquitted.”

“It is gratifying indeed, particularly, when one has not being paid a kobo in the respect of this case. That notwithstanding, I personally believe that I’m doing my responsibility as a state officer employed by the LAC.
“Since the inception this matter, we have put up 55 appearances here. That shows that LAC is actually on ground and we have competent officers who could handle matters of this nature.”

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.