Lagos: Court arraigns pastor for failure to produce suspects as promised

A 57-year old pastor, Jude Ojo has been arraigned before Ogba magistrate court, Ikeja, Lagos, for failing to produce the five suspects for whom he stood as surety.

The five suspects including the dethroned traditional ruler of Otumara community, Ladi Arowojolu, Shola Adegun, and three others were investigated by the Lagos State police command, CP squad led by ASP Jagunno on allegations bordering on illegal possession of firearm, assault and disruption of public peace and threaten to life.

The suspects were released on bail to the clergyman, Ojo on the understanding that he would produce them in court whenever called upon for prosecution, which he failed to comply with.

Consequence to the suspects’ evasion of justice, the police arraigned Ojo before Ogba magistrate court on two-count charges of perversion of Justice and conspiracy.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecutor, Inspector John Iveredem told the court that the defendant on January 2, 2024, at the Lagos State police command, promised to produce the suspects but failed and as a result prevented the police from carrying out their duties.

Iveredem argued that Ojo presented himself to the command as a clergyman and that explained the reason he was accorded the honour of standing as a surety for the five suspects on the ground that he was going to produce them for prosecution.

He added that one of the charges proffered against one of the suspects, Shola Adegun, was illegal possession of firearm while appealing to the Honourable Court for stringent conditions of bail for failing to produce the suspects.

Counsel to the defendant, M. A. Alo argued that the defendant lived to his calling as a clergyman by presenting himself to the state command for arraignment.

Ruling on the matter, Magistrate Ann of Court 19, Ilori court house, Ogba, Lagos, admitted the surety to bail in the sum of N300,000 with two sureties both of whom must be clergymen with valid identity cards.

She added that they must be gainfully employed, with evidence of tax payment, LASRRA, and must be residents within the court jurisdiction.

The IPO of the case, Inspector Monday Alegbe handed over the defendant to officials of the Nigerian Correctional Centre to be remanded until the perfection of his bail conditions.

She adjourned further hearing to March 19.

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