An Ebute-Metta Magistrate Court on Tuesday granted the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) leave to remand in custody, 17 suspects held in connection with the killing of the Managing Director, Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited, Mr. Tajudeen Disu, who died from injuries he sustained when gunmen attacked him during a peace mission to one of the communities in the Free Trade Zone area in Ibeju Lekki.
Delivering ruling on an application by the prosecuting Counsel seeking the leave of the Court to remand the suspects in custody of the Police pending further investigation the Magistrate Mrs Folashade Botoku said, “Having listened to the arguments of both the prosecuting and the defence counsels, I quite agree with the defence on the issue of jurisdiction of this court to hear a case of murder against the suspects brought before this Court”.
The magistrate however said what was brought before her was not a charge but an application to remand the suspects in custody to enable the police to conduct thorough investigation.
According to her, Section 264 of the Administration of Criminal Justice 2011 (Sections 1 and 2) empowers the court to entertain such application.
On the application for bail as requested by the counsel to the accused the Magistrate said that while section 264 empower the Court to grant the leave to remand the suspects in custody, the same section does not empower the court to grant the suspects bail since it lacks jurisdiction to hear murder case and cannot therefore consider the application for bail.
The prosecution further argued that Section 27 of the Magistrate Court Law 2009 empower the police to present before a magistrate court within a reasonable time person(s) arrested for murder.
He further argued that the court in its wisdom has the jurisdiction to grant the police an order to remand such suspects in custody for a minimum of 30 days.
The Court thereby ordered that the 17 suspects, Dele Ajayi ; Alhaji Tajudeen Jegede ; Saidi Akanni; Oyelade Taiwo; Sunday Bulus; Abiola Ogunsanwo; Okunaya Stephen; Taiwo Gafar; Agunrege Banji; Gafaru Ahmed; Moses Okoro; Talabi Quadri; Ipaye Oriyomi; Quadri Yusufand Tunde Yusuf be remanded in police custody for a period of 30 days pending further investigation by the Police.
It would be recalled that while the late Tajudeen Disu was murdered on Monday during a peace mission to one of the villages in the Ibeju Lekki area, the Chief Security Officer of the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Col Bala Usman (rtd) sustained serious injuries during the attack.