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Murder: Court rejects police application to withdraw criminal charges

Yejide Gbenga-Ogundare

Magistrate K. K. Awoyinka of a Lagos State Magistrate Court has turned down the application of the Nigeria Police seeking to withdraw criminal charges proffered against three people; Kazeem Jinadu, Maaru Amisu and Oluwatobi Ajao, over allegations bordering on murder.

The Nigeria Police had earlier docked the trio before the court on a six-count charge bordering on the murder of Late Muda Balogun, an offence punishable under Section 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.

According to a charge before the court, “Jinadu Kazeem a.k.a Goroso, Maaru Amisu, and Oluwatobi Ajao Tumise a.k.a 5O cent and others now at large on 28/9/2022 at Iyana-Iba Area of Ojo LGA Lagos in the Lagos Magistrate District conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.”

The defendants whose plea was not taken had however through their counsel, N. S. Nwosu (Mrs) requested bail.

The Magistrate however dismissed the oral application and ordered the police to duplicate the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), for legal advice.

But while the court was still awaiting the report of the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution on the murder charge, the case took an unexpected turn when the police prosecutor in charge of the case, Stephen Moro, brought a letter dated, Thursday, February 2, 2023, before the court from the Office of the Inspector General of Police,  Alkali Baba, requesting for the ongoing case file already before the DPP to be withdrawn.

Barrister Moro had relied on Section 73 of the ACJL of Lagos State to ask for the discontinuation of the trial.

In his response, the complainant counsel, Mubashir Babatunde Oshodi, had urged, the Magistrate to disregard the letter and the application to withdraw charges as its aim at perverting justice

Oshodi argued that it was an obstruction to the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State.

In her ruling, Magistrate Awoyinka.  citing a plethora of legal authorities, said the letter is not quite sufficient to quash the charges,  noting that in the interest of justice, the case cannot be withdrawn by anyone based on a letter.

Subsequently, she adjourned the matter till February 13, 2022 for the arrival of the DPP’s report.



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