Cultists arraigned for killing man who rejected invitation

Two alleged cultists, Nicodemus Jeremiah and Abideen Muniru have been taken before an Ebute Meta Magistrate’ Court for allegedly killing one Dike Onyeani, 24, by shooting him “on his head”.

The incident was said to have occurred at Amosu Igboro, in the Ijanikin area of Lagos.

It was learnt that the two accused, who were members of the Eiye Confraternity, had allegedly been putting the deceased under pressure to join the group.

He was, however, said to have rejected the invitation.

On August 14, 2013, it was alleged that some members of the group abducted Onyeani.

He was said to have been later shot in the head with a locally made pistol.

People living around the scene of the incident were said to have alerted the police, leading to the arrest of the accused.

They were arraigned on two counts of murder.

The charges read in part, “That you, Nicodemus Jeremiah, Abideen Muniru, and others now at large on the 14th day of August, 2013 at about 8.50pm at Amosu Igboro Area, Ijanikin Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire together to commit felony, to wit, murder.”

The prosecutor, Sergeant Cousin Adam, said the offences were punishable by Sections 231, 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria 2011.

The defendants’ pleas were not taken.

Adam applied that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending the advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution.

The defence counsel, O.O Sanu however said there was no ground to remand the defendants.

He said, “The law provides that there must be probable cause for remand. The charge against the defendants is murder, whereas the police, in Form K attached to the charge, said they did not find any exhibit, no fingerprints evidence and no confessional statements.”

He said the police were only relying on eye witnesses’ account which was not enough to sustain the murder charge.

Sanu said the court should strike out the matter as the ground for murder was non-existent.

The prosecutor, however, said one of the accused confessed to the crime, adding that the error in the form was caused by the Investigating Police Officer.

The magistrate, Mrs. M. O. Tanimola, however, said there was probable cause for remand.

She remanded the defendants in prison pending the DPP’s legal advice.

The matter was adjourned till October 14.

Posted by Salmon Abiodun

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