The scheduled arraignment of the leader of Aswani International Market, Chief Taoreed Farounbi, popularly called Baba Alado, and six other persons, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, over alleged terrorism acts, today, failed to proceed due to the inability of the prosecution to serve the charge sheet on Baba Alado and five others.
Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) dragged Chief Taoreed Farounbi, alongside Alhaji Olusegun Akeem Akinde (A.K.A. Echo), Mr. Ayokunle Fakiyesi, Mr. Idowu Akinde, Musilu Oladejo, Mr. Lekan Matthew and Mr. Adeleke Akinjeji, before the court presided over by Justice Sule Hassan on a three count-charge of conspiracy to wit terrorism.
AGF in a charge numbered FHC/L/279c/2020, alleged that Baba Alado and others, on March 19, 2020, conspired among themselves and participated in terrorism acts, which led to the killing of two men, Debo Olohunyo and Chibuzor Daniel, at the White Sand area of Isheri-Osun, Lagos State.
They were also accused of causing an attacks which led to destruction of many properties in the area.
The offences according to the AGF are contrary to Section 1(2) (a) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 s amended by Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act 2013.
However, at the resumed arraignment of the accused, only one of them, Lekan Lateef, was brought to court.
Narrating prosecution’s ordeal for not producing other defendants for arraignment, the prosecutor, A. K. Alilu, State Chief Counsel, told the court that Baba Alado and five other defendants could not be located, since they were granted administrative bail by the police.
He further told the court that the defendants, after being granted administrative bail, their sureties, have severely failed to honour police invitation for the purpose of serving them the charge sheet.
In the circumstance, the prosecutor therefore asked the court for summons against the defendants, to appear for their trial. While also applied to court to serve the charge sheets on the defendants through their counsel, who were in court.
He also asked the court for an order remanding the sixth defendant, Lekan Matthew, in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS), till a date for the trial of the defendant.
Responding to the prosecutor’s request, counsel to the defendants, Mr. M.B Jimoh- Akogun, stated that in the last adjourned date, in the ruling of the court was that the case is adjourned till 16, December, 2020, and that the defendants are still of the notion that the date still remains sacrosant.
The counsel also said the defence team is ready to accept the charge sheets on behalf of their clients and would make the defendants available on the next adjourned date.
Delivering bench ruling of counsel’s submissions, Justice Hassan ordered that the charge sheet be served on the defendants’ lawyers while also ordered the sixth defendant, Lekan Matthew, who was in court, be remanded in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).
The matter has been adjourned been till January 28, 2021, for the arraignment of the defendants.