An Ogba magistrate court, Ikeja, ordered the deposed Baale of Shangisha, Chief Mutiu Ogundare, to be remanded in Kirikiri Prison for allegedly faking his kidnap.
The Baale, alongside his wife, Abolanle Ogundare, will remain in prison custody with one Mohammed Babatunde, the supposed brother of the erstwhile Baale, pending the perfection of their bail conditions. Ogundare and others were arraigned before the court on a three-count charge offence bordering on breach of public peace and fake kidnapping. However, they all pleaded not guilty to the offences proffered against them by the Police.
Sequel to the court judgement and the controversies that trailed the Baale’s arrest, Kosofe Inside-Out visited the community with the hope to seek the truth from the Community.
Development Association (CDA). While some of the excos of the CDA were hesitant to talk to us, we took to the streets to seek the opinion of Baale’s subjects. Many residents of the Shangisha/Magodo community believe the court’s action is influenced by the state as many believe that the deposed Baale was set up, and he incautiously fell for the plot. While speaking to a Shangisha resident who pleaded anonimity, he said
For the Baale to have opted for that level of pettiness, all in the name of a protest, there is more to it. This man has represented the interest of the people all along”.Ayo Bamitale, another resident said, “We have been to media houses to protest the state government’s action, we have also been to the house of assembly to do same and we assure the Baale that we are surely behind him, but faking the kidnap has vindicated the other man installed as the Oba"
Another resident who pleaded anonimity and lives on Onibeju street has this to say,“I believe the plot against the Baale, was masterminded by the man who broke the fake news of Baale’s kidnap, Mohammed Adams. He just found his way into the Baale’s heart and brainwashed the monarch to a level where the Baale stopped listening to the people around him.
He once told my friends and I to attack the installed King, on his way to his palace, I rebuffed him and told my friends to be wary of him, now he has succeeded in his aim, and the Baale has to face the consequences of gullibility.
The defendants' counsel, Mr. Glory Odimayo, pleaded for bail for the Baale, his wife and Mohammed Adams. Odimayo argued that the defendants are prominent members of the Shangisha community and will not jump bail. Odimayo urged the court to grant them bail, while citing relevant constitutional provisions and authorities, stressing that the issue of bail is at the discretion of the court. The prosecutor, Mr. Peter Okerinmodun, opposed the application, saying if granted bail, their presence in the community might cause a breakdown of law and order and that they will use their position to influence witnesses.
Ruling on the matter, Magistrate Akanni, citing Section 155 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, 2011, agreed with the defence that bail is at the discretion of the court. She later granted the defendants N2million bail with two sureties in like sum. She further ordered that the sureties must include a traditional ruler, a person with registered property in Lagos, be a tax payer and a Grade Level 17 officer in the state public service.
At the proceedings on Wednesday, Ogundare through his counsel, H.N Ogirien in an application pleaded with the court to vary the bail conditions as his clients could not meet up.
“What we are asking for is the variation of bail condition.
“This situation is peculiar because a man and his wife are both incarcerated. They have young children who are dependent on them. They have children of nursery, primary and secondary ages who are solely dependent on them and they are left unattended to.
“The Lagos State counsel was served with this application on the 16th of August and sadly, up till now, they are yet to respond,”Ogirien lamented.
Responding to the application, the Lagos State Counsel, Akin George, told the court that he was just served hearing notice in the matter on Tuesday and that he was yet to respond.
“I was reliably informed that this same application was brought before Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya but it was dismissed for lacking in merit.
“This is a serious case of someone faking his own kidnap and I believe for him to be remanded in custody, it is for his own protection,” George said.
George, however, asked the court for some time to respond to the application.
The vacation judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari adjourned the matter till August 25 to rule on the application.
Kosofe Inside Out