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Two Lagosians regain freedom after five yrs in remand

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

A High Court sitting in Lagos has discharged and acquitted two residents of the state, Daniel Kuye and Ifeshola Adewunmi, as well as ordered that they be set free immediately from the Correctional Centre in Kirikiri, where they had been remanded since 2016.

The court set both accused free after over five years in remand following a No Case Submission made on behalf of the two defendants by the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD).

As gathered, the two, Kuye and Adewunmi, were arraigned by the Nigerian Police on 28-count charges  over alleged involvement in an armed robbery incident on Akintan Street in Surulere Local Government, Lagos in December 2015.

Both suspects were said to have been arraigned the next year, 2016, on the charges that bordered on conspiracy to commit robbery contrary to Section 299 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 and the offence of Armed Robbery contrary to Section 297(2) (a)&(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

When the charges were read to Kuye and Adewunmi, they both plead not guilty to the allegations levelled against them by the law enforcement agency and were remanded by the judge pending the trial.

At the commencement of trial after five years, the suspects case had been brought to the notice of OPD and the Office objected to plans by the prosecutors to call a witness and tender the statements of defendants in evidence.

The OPD, as learnt, kicked against the move after a thorough examination of the case and objected the move based on the voluntariness of the statements.

Following OPD’S objection to the voluntariness of the statements, the court ordered a trial within trial after which the court admitted the suspects statements based on relevancy.

After the Prosecution had closed its case, the OPD opt for a No Case Submission before the court presided over by Justice A. M Nicol Clay.

Delivering judgement on the case, Justice Nicol Clay ruled in favour of the defendants and consequently discharged as well as acquitted them accordingly.

Speaking on the outcome of the case, Director, Office of the Public Defender, Dr. Babajide Martins expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the case and commended the court for upholding law of the country.

Martins, in a statement by Asst. Director, Public Affairs Unit for OPD, Mahmud Hassan, attributed the achievements recorded to numerous training the staff have undergone.

According to him, numerous training and high professional ethics of the Office are positively impacting in the overall performance and number of cases being won by OPD on behalf of indigent residents of the state”

He, therefore, enjoined members of the public to avail themselves of free legal services being rendered to the indigent and vulnerable residents of the state in line with the current administration THEME agenda, and security and governance for the good people of Lagos State.

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