By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Bartholomew Madukwe

LAGOS—An Ikeja High Court, yesterday, remanded in prison custody nine men and a woman charged in connection with the torture, attempted murder and sodomy of three females accused of stealing pepper at Oba Morufu International Market, Ejigbo area of Lagos State.

The defendants are Isiaka Waidi, 61; Saheed Adisa, 29; Lateef Tijani, 37; Ahmed Adisa, 65; Azeez Akinosun, 36; Jimoh Busari, 50; Adekunle Adenuga, 38; Oloruntoyin Dauda, 46; Buhari Yusuf, 22 (female); and Abdullahi Haruna, 20.

In an amended charge, the defendants were accused of inserting a stick into the vagina of Nike Salami, Juliana Agomo and assaulted one Ajoke Agomo by stripping her naked, beating her up and rubbing pepper all over her body at Oba Morufu International market, Ejigbo.

The charge

Ejigbo-pepper-1According to the charge, the 1st defendant (Waidi) and 5th defendant (Lateef) unlawfully obtained N50,000 from one Fima Agomo with intent to defraud by falsely pretending that the said money would be paid to traders in the market, whose pepper had been stolen.

The defendants were arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye on a 19-count charge of unlawful assembly, trial by ordeal, assault occasioning harm, causing grievous harm, maliciously administering poison, deprivation of liberty, conspiracy to commit felony, attempted murder, sexual assault by penetration, obtaining money by false pretense and neglect to prevent a felony.

One of the charges read: “Isiaka Waidi, Ahmed Adisa, Adekunle Adenuga, Azeez Akinosun, Jimoh Busari, Buhari Yusuf and Abdullahi Haruna, on February 11, 2013 at Oba Morufu International Market Ejigbo, Lagos, in the Ikeja Judicial Division, did unlawfully attempt to kill one Nike Salami by beating her up, rubbing pepper all over her body and supervising the insertion of a stick and an obnoxious substance into her vagina.”

Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs Idowu Alakija, informed the court that the offence was contrary to Section 259 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.

‘Not guilty’

However, when the charge was read in Yoruba and Hausa languages to the defendants, they pleaded not guilty.

Subsequently, the prosecutor urged the court to remand the defendants in prison custody, pending their bail application, noting that the applications by the defence counsel were served prematurely.

The prosecutor (Alakija) then asked the court for a short time to enable her reply to the applications served her on March 18, adding that the proceeding at the magistrate court would be terminated to enable speedy trial.

After listening to the parties, the judge ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody and adjourned till May 21 for hearing of their bail application.

The incident, which is popularly known as Ejigbo 3, took place in February 2013.

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