Forest reserves: Drama as Suspect slumps and fainted in Ondo Court

By: Oluwatosin Adesola

It was like watching a nollywood movie when one of defendants that was brought to an Akure Chief Magistrate court by the operatives of Ondo State Security Network, Amotekun corps, collapsed and fainted during the court proceeding.

It took the court minutes and extra efforts to revived the defendant, this made the magistrate, Damilola Sekoni to order one of his Clarks to buy water, milk and malt to revive the suspect.

After many minutes he regained his strength and the magistrate ruled over the charge and ordered the Amotekun officers to take him to police hospital for proper treatment.

In the meantime, over fifteen herdsmen have been remanded by an Akure Chief magistrate’s Court for their involvement in illegal mining in Owo Local Government Area of the state.

The accused persons are; Yesupa Masaubu, Kabiru Shuaibu, Abdullai Masuru, Jemiru Alasa, Sapianu Alaka, Saliu Haruna, Hulusa Sheibu, Habibu Mohammed, Iliasu Kabiru and Aminu Amadu.

Other defendants are; Alikasehu Mohammed, Sifianu Musa, Habinu Muhammad, Aminu Halilu and Sanni Garba.

They allegedly committed the offence on February 3, 2021 at Owo in the Akure Magisterial District, Area of Ondo State.

The 15 defendants were arrested in Owo in the first week of February 2021 by operatives of the Ondo state security network, operation Amotekun during a sting operation.

Upon completion of investigation, the agency dragged the 15 defendants before magistrate damilola shekoni on a three count charge.

The charge include trespass on government reserves, Illegal mining punishable under section 517 of the criminal laws of Ondo state and 134 of the minerals and mining act of 2007.

The prosecuting counsel, Barr Olusegun Akeredolu said the court has no jurisdiction to hear a case of illegal mining and prayed for the remand the defendants pending the advice of the director of public prosecution.

Counsel to the defendants, Yemi Salau who agreed with the prosecution on the lack of jurisdiction by the court however sought their bail citing section of 269 of the administration of criminal justice law in Ondo State.

Magistrate Shekoni after listening to arguments by counsel, especially on the jurisdiction of the court invoked 272 of the administration of criminal justice law and remanded the defendants in Owo and Ondo facilities of the Nigeria correctional services.

He directed the prosecution to forward the case file of the defendants to the office of director of public prosecutions for legal advice and adjourned the

case till march 26 2021.

He also said the Covid-19 test should be conducted on the defendants before their transfer to the correctional facility.

Counsel to the defendants, yemi Salau and The state commander of Amotekun, Chief Adetunji adeleye expressed satisfaction with the proceedings.

Meanwhile, the court also remanded at the correctional facility, three defendants after they were docked by Amotekun on a three count charge including illegal firearms possession, and trespass in government forest reserves.

Their case was also adjourned to March 26 for further hearing.

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