Double Jeopardy: Kogi community leaders banish father whose days-old baby is abducted

May 10, 2019
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The Father of the five-day-old male child abducted by two gunmen on April 11 at Ijagbe community in Kogi State, Mr Tosin Ojuola, has been ordered out of the community.

The order was handed to him on May 7 by the community leaders.

He, his wife, and a daughter re bow out of the community–to return only if the baby is recovered.

The traditional ruler on  May 7  handed the man a 10-hour ultimatum to leave the town or face the consequences.

Ojuola had earlier been arrested and detained by police alongside his landlord and a co-tenant in connection with the incident. Thatwas also on te order of the community.

The traditional council said their Ifa Oracle insisted Ojuola orchestrated the kidnapof his own baby. and their tradition is to banish anybody that does that.

The monarch, who spoke through his son, Prince Segun Adeleye, said the decision to banish Ojuola was taken by the Mopa-Muro Local Government Traditional Council of Chiefs.

He defended the action of the traditional council, explaining that all spiritual consultations revealed that the “father of the abducted baby had a hand in his abduction”.

“Even though Mr Ojuola had never engaged in any form of criminality in the community but our consultations revealed that he knew the baby’s whereabouts,” he told NAN in an interview.

”His banishment from the community could be for days, weeks, months or years until the baby is found.

“It is not that we have taken law into our own hand, but it is the necessary step the community needs to take in such a situation.

“However, if he wants to come back he can return to the community but we will leave him to his conscience.

“We do not want the world to portray us in a bad light with that decision; so, he should return back to the community if he so wished,” Joledo said.

Sunday Alumo, the Administrator of Mopamuro Local Government, told NAN on phone that he was aware of the abduction incident but expressed shock over the banishment of Ojuola from the community.

“The community leaders cannot decide to take law into their own hands,” he said.

Alumo asked for time to enable him to find out the real situation from the traditional ruler of the community.

The state police command Public Relations Officer, DSP William Aya, described the leaders’ action as unfortunate saying that it was capable of obstructing ongoing police investigation into the incident.

He explained that every Nigerian had a right to live in any part of the country adding that the community action might have infringed on the fundamental human rights of Ojuola.

He appealed to all parties involved to allow the law to take its course saying that police investigation into the incident was still ongoing.

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