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Herdsman’s murder saga: Controversy over injured suspect


By Dayo Johnson, Akure

A suspected killer of a herdsman, Ajayi Bayode, who was granted bail by a Chief Magistrate Court in Akure, Ondo State on medical grounds, was brought to court from hospital with bandage on his head and his bail revoked following the directive of the state government.

Bayode allegedly killed the herdsmen who, alongside his colleagues, invaded his farmland in Arigidi-Akoko and destroyed it.

He had been docked earlier for murder.

After the arraignment, the Chief Magistrate Court had granted him bail so that he could treat himself in order to stand trial.

However at the resumption of the matter on Friday, a lawyer from Ondo State Ministry of Justice, O.F Olatunji, asked the court to reverse its order on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

She said, “The major plank of the application of the government was that the nature of the offence and the circumstances surrounding it poses great security threat to the accused, the community and the state at large.

“It is High Court that has jurisdiction to hear cases that border on capital punishment”.

Responding, the counsel to the accused, Wale Omotoso, said he needed time to respond to the application made by the state government.

In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Mrs Victoria Bob-Manuel, reversed the bail and ordered the accused to be remanded in police custody from where he will be attending hospital for treatment.

Bob-Manuel said since her court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case, the counsel to the accused should seek bail for his client at the High Court.

Omotoso, in his reaction, said the court reversed itself because of pressure from government, saying the suspect’s bail on Monday, a public holiday.

“This is subversion of justice. If a person has been given bail because of pathetic health condition and overnight and the bail is revoked, he is in jeopardy and may lose his life”.

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