Emmanuel Thomas l Sunday, January 8, 2023
LAGOS, Nigeria – Principal members of the Owoseni family are now on the run for their lives after five armed thugs alleged to have carried out murder and deposited the corpse at NITEL Estate went on rampage in their community after the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution, led by Dr. Babajide Martins ordered their release not withstanding police recommendation which found the five persons and others at large culpable in the murder case following a protracted land grabbing dispute at NITEL Estate, situated along Oke -Ota Ona, Obafemi Awolowo Road, Ikorodu, Lagos.
The five persons recommended by police for prosecution are Otunba Olugbenga Kuti, Losi Jamiu Hassan Aro, Sanni Lolade Yusuf, Sikiru Ajasa and Sadiq Balogun and other suspects (thugs) now at large.
In a legal advice dated March 15, 2022 issued by the Commissioner of Police, Homicide section, Force Criminal Investigative Department, (FCID), signed by DCP Chizoba Ehiede found the five suspects culpable in the murder.
The sixth person, Inspector Idris Sikiru was exonerated since hunter cartridge was deployed in the murder and not the usual ammunition borne by policemen sent on duty. Besides, the bullet in his arm were found to be complete after an audit.
“From the above listed observation, It is very clear that the suspects, Otunba Olugbenga Kuti, Losi Jamiu Hassan Aro, Sanni Lolade, Yusuf Sikiru Ajasa and Sadiq Balogun and other suspects (thugs) now at large have a case to answer and should accordingly be charged to court for the offences discloses against them to with conspiracy punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code; Murder punishable under section 451 of the Criminal Code; forcible entry punishable under section 81 of the Criminal Code; unlawful possession of firearms punishable under Section 3 & 6 of the Robbery & Firearms(Special Provision Act) and conduct likely to cause breach of public peace punishable under section 249of the Criminal Code, while Inspector Idris Sakiru should be released because he has no case to answer. However efforts must be intensified to arrest the fleeing thugs for possible arraignment in court” , DCP Chizoba Ehiede said in his legal advice.
In his reply dated 07/09/2022, Dr. Babajide Martins, the DPP said, “after carefully considering the facts available in the duplicate case file, this Office is of the view that there are insufficient facts to establish a prima facie case of the murder contrary to section 223 of the Criminal Cap C 17 Vol3 Laws of Lagos State against the 12 suspects listed as Inspector Idris Sikiru, Inspector Ufuoma Elum, Inspector Adewale Joshua, Inspector Sunday Etukudo, Inspector Joseph Yohanna, Sergent Magaji Musa and the remaining five earlier listed above.
However, the affected family led Owoseni Atoleye Dada and Owolabi Dada there is more to it than meet the eyes and therefore appealing to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to intervene in the matter and save their lives.
Speaking for the family at a press conference, Atoleye Dada said the armed thugs have made lives difficult for them since they were released by the DPP. “They are now on rampage and have chased us out of our homes at NITEL Estate, along Oke -Ota Ona, Obafemi Awolowo Road, Ikorodu, Lagos. We can no longer sleep in our homes”, he said, adding that he believes that the DPP has been compromised by the thugs.
He said the family land was initially acquired by the Federal Government for public interest and for the development of telecommunications facilities but that when the Federal government reneged and started selling out the land, the family went to court and secured a judgement that reverted ownership to the family.
He alleged that the thugs now released committed murder elsewhere and deposited the dead body in the disputed land to incriminate the family but that after a thorough investigation, the police narrowed the murder to the five suspects which have been released by the DPP. They want the case to be prosecuted to save their lives.