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Election day crime Magistrate wants dog charged along with owner

By Onozure Dania

LAGOS—Before Magistrate M. O. Tanimola granted a defendant bail at an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting at Oyingbo, yesterday, she demanded to know why the defendant’s dog was not charged along with him.

A 24-year-old male fashion designer, Sunday Odeyemi, was yesterday arraigned before Magistrate M. O. Tanimola for allegedly loitering with the Alsatian dog and threatening voters during last Saturday’s presidential election.

The police prosecutor, Adam Cusim, alleged that the defendant had on the day of the presidential election, at about 4p.m., along Jimoh Bus stop, Akowonjo-Egbeda, Lagos, conducted himself in a manner likely to cause the breach of the public peace by loitering around and using the dog to intimidate people at the polling booth at Jimoh Bus Stop.

He also alleged that his act was likely to cause harm or endanger human life.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges, when they were read to him.

According to the prosecutor, the offence is punishable under Sections 166 (d) (h) and 249(1)(d) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.

His lawyer, Mr. Spurgeon Ataene, while applying to the court to grant the defendant bail, urged the court to release the dog, as it was a pet and could not be a threat to anyone.

Magistrate Tanimola, granted the defendant N50,000 bail, with one surety in like sum.

However, before the defendant was admitted to bail, Magistrate Tanimola had asked the police why the dog was not charged along with its owner.

She then ordered that the dog be discharged and handed over to the defendant’s relatives, who were in court during the arraignment.

The matter has been adjourned till April 23 for mention.



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