By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
After much investigation, Lagos State Government has arraigned the two suspects arrested over alleged murder of an officer of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) in Apapa Local Government.
The two alleged killers, arrested immediately after attacking the deceased LASTMA officer, Ola Oyeshina, who was said to be an orphan and hailed from Osun State, were 31-year-old Abdullahi Akere and 41-year-old Nurudeen Ogungbe.
Akere and Ogungbe were arraigned yesterday before a Magistrate Court sitting in Yaba, Lagos State.
Both defendants, who had been in detention since weekend after the attack on the late LASTMA officer at Sifax-Iganmu axis of Apapa at about 6 pm, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Ayeye, on a two-count charge bordering on attack and murder of a law enforcement officer.
The counts were: “That Abdullahi Akere, Nurudeen Ogungbe and others now at large on 29th day of November 2019, at about 1800hrs at Ijora-Badia, Lagos State in the Lagos Magistrate District, did conspire among yourself to commit felony to wit: murder; an offence punishable under section 233 of the criminal law of Lagos state.
“That Abdullahi Akere, Nurudeen Ogungbe and others now at large on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magistrate District, did kill one Ola Oyeshina, age 40 years by hitting him with stone on his head and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 222 and punishable under section 223 of the criminal law of Lagos state”.
Akere and Ogungbe pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them by the Prosecutor, Dsp Adegoke.
In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Ayeye ordered that the defendants be remanded in custody and adjourned the case till 28 January next year.
It was gathered that the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had been briefed of their arraignment minutes before visiting relatives of the deceased officer at their residence in Surulere, where he vowed to ensure justice is served on the case.
The Governor warned that the government will not condone any form of disobedience to the laws of the State.
Sanwo-Olu vowed that harsh punishment awaits anyone who attacks men of the State’s law enforcement agencies in the line of duty.
The Governor, who expressed his displeasure over the gruesome killing of Oyeshina, said the incident of his unfortunate death is a wake-up call to all Lagosians, describing the attack on the LASTMA officer as “mindless and callous”.
He said the Government would “thoroughly prosecute” the arrested culprits to send a clear signal to those who have penchant for attacking law enforcement agents in the line of duty.
The governor wondered why some members of the public would take pride in brutalising those working to make the society better and safe. He vowed to make Lagos inhabitable for those inclined to disobey the State’s traffic laws.
He said: “In the last 48 hours, we’ve had heavy brutality on men of LASTMA who were doing their work. We’ve had people whose legs have been amputated in the last 48hours whilst on the assignment that was given to them to bring about enforcement of our laws and orders.
“I think this is the level at which we need to make this very stern warning that we will not stop at ensuring that we implement and enforce our laws not minding which force is involved. Lagos will not condone people that will not obey our laws.
He added: “We cannot be condoning reckless killing and sending our young men to early grave. This government certainly will not stand for that. We are using this opportunity to tell people that Lagos wants to remain secured and safe for all of us.”