By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Onozure Dania
A traffic dispute between a mother of three, Mrs. Yetunde Osijo, and a magistrate, Funke Sule-Hamzat, which occurred in Oworonsoki area of Lagos, led to Osijo’s arraignment and subsequent detention in Kirikiri prison.
Meanwhile, Vanguard learned that ‘the accused’ was released last night from Kirikiri Prison after the family was able to perfect the bail conditions.
She was granted bail in the sum of N100,000 and a surety.
There were different accounts of the traffic disagreement which occurred between the driver of the Magistrate and Osijo in Oworonsoki before she was pursued to Surulere by the magistrate, who subsequently ordered her arrest by the police.
According to Osijo’s husband, Dipo, Sule-Hamzat’s driver, who is a magistrate at the Ogudu Magistrate Court, allegedly bumped into Osijo’s car, but the furious magistrate ordered that Osijo be arrested and taken to her court, where she promptly ordered that Osijo be remanded in Kirikiri Prison without giving her the opportunity to get a lawyer.
Dipo said: “From information I gathered from eyewitnesses, it was the magistrate’s driver that was wrong at the time of the minor accident.
“Yetunde, who bumped into the magistrate’s car assumed she would be asked to leave only to realise that Sule-Hamzat’s car was chasing her from behind.”
Dipo also told Vanguard that his wife started driving in January, and that it was just a traffic offence that resulted in a minor scratch.
He said that the magistrate and her driver chased his wife and when they caught up with her, she was arraigned and sent to prison on Monday at about 5:30p.m., adding that because his wife told the magistrate that her father was a former clerk at the House of Assembly, she got angrier and sent her to prison.
It’s a lie—Chief Registrar
However, another account by the Chief Registrar of Lagos State High Court, Mr. Emmanuel Ogundare, said the entire story as told by Mr Osijo was far from the truth.
He said: “How can a magistrate in Lagos, involved in an accident, order the arrest of the other party and arraign her in own court?
“This a judicial officer, who knows the implication of such actions. It was unfortunate that contrary to the report, the case was brought before Magistrate A. Elias, who sits in Ogba Chief Magistrate’s Court, that has the jurisdiction to handle the case from the area the accident happened.
“Can we say because she is a judicial officer, she is not entitled to complain to the police or be heard when her rights is trampled upon?
“The lady in question was arrested in Surulere, from Ogba where the incident occurred and taken to the police station, where her statement was taken.
“She was subsequently arraigned and granted bail in the sum of N100,000 with one surety in like sum, which is the least bail condition for such offence.”
The photo of Mrs. Yetunde Osijo, earlier published in this story, is not the Yetunde Osijo that was remanded in prison by the Magistrate. We apologise for the misrepresentation. The error is highly regretted.