May 13, 2015

Firearms possession,CJ takes over case file

Firearms possession,CJ takes over case file

By Onozure Dania

Lagos—The Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, has taken over the case file of two brothers, Sulaiman Sanusi and Kehinde Sanusi, standing trial over alleged illegal possession of fire arms and disrespect of a court order.

The Chief Judge took over the case file after Magistrate Adeola Adedayo, who they were supposed to be arraigned before, raised an alarm over alleged threat to her life.

At the resumed hearing of the matter before Magistrate Adedayo, yesterday, the defendants and their counsel were absent from the proceedings.

Meanwhile, the counsel from the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, S. Dawudu, told the court that there was a legal advice from DPP.

The matter could not go on as the Magistrate said she was not in possession of the case file and no information was given in respect of that.

It was gathered that the first defendant, Sulaiman Sanusi, was asked to face trial as the DPP insisted that he had a case to answer, over illegal possession of fire arms, while his younger brother, Kehinde Sanusi, was asked to go as there was no evidence that linked him with the offence.

The two defendants are the children of late Lagos business mogul, Chief Abdul-Rasak Sanusi, and are being prosecuted by the police.

At the last sitting of the matter, Magistrate Adedayo of Igbosere Magistrate’s Court sitting on the Island, raised alarm that she had received letters delivered to her residence from the defendants who were yet to be arraigned.

The magistrate said she was disturbed that the defendants knew her house and had detailed her personal life in the letter.

“I feel very threatened. Let the world know about it so that if anything happens to me and any member of my family the whole world will know who to hold.  I don’t know why a defendant should know my house. My life is at risk ,’’ she had cried out.

In the charge marked A/143/2014, instituted by Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Suleiman was accused of unlawful possession of firearms.

The police stated that the Sanusi siblings had acted contrary to Section 104 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011 and Section 4 of the Nigerian Firearms Act.

It was further gathered that the charge was a result of the suit instituted in 2002 by Suleiman and two of his siblings against three of their siblings, who were appointed by their late father as the executors of his estate.

The suit marked ID/904M/2002 had as its plaintiffs Suleimon, Risikat Olusanya and Ganiyat Sanusi.

Joined as respondents were the appointed executors of the Sanusi’s estate, Abdul-Mojeed Sanusi, Falilat Sanusi-Lawal, and Bilikisu Sanusi.

In the said suit, the claimants had accused the respondents of mismanaging their late father’s estate.

But ruling on the suit, Justice Williams-Dawodu had held that “the first applicant (Suleimon) should produce or surrender all documents in his custody to the estate.”

The court also ordered the executors (respondents) to resume joint management of the estate, in line with the will of their late father, executed by the late F.R.A. Williams (SAN).

The executors were ordered to return to the court to submit a report of stewardship on the estate.

But they are now alleging that since the court order was given in 2006, the first applicant, had not complied by surrendering all the documents in relation to the estate, as directed by the court.