Ibadan court failed to convict Auxilliary on murder charge

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Ex-NURTW boss will only spend 6 years in prison

Many people in Ibadan are gobsmacked at the turn of events as they affect a former Acting Chairman of the Oyo State chapter of National Union of Road Transport Workers, Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, popularly called Auxiliary, who earlier this week, was sentenced to six years imprisonment for conspiracy to murder.

The sentence was announced by Justice Eni Esan of the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan. Also jailed were Saidi Kareem, Abu Kareem and Kazeem Kayode. The fifth accused person, Taiwo Tijani, who was standing trial with the jailed persons, is already dead.

In his judgment, Justice Esan noted that Auxiliary and others were sentenced because of conspiracy to murder even though they were also tried for murder. The judge ruled that the prosecuting counsel failed in his attempt to convince the court beyond reasonable doubt over the allegations of murder and attempted murder.

Basically, the judge was not convinced beyond reasonable doubts that the accused committed any murder. I understand the judge wouldn’t want to slam a murder verdict without being absolutely sure that the accused truly committed it so I guess we should blame the prosecuting counsel and the police investigators for not bringing a strong against against the accused.

Interestingly, counsel for the sentenced NURTW members, Mr. Olalekan Ojo and Adeleke Bakare, begged the judge for lighter sentence and to consider the status of Auxiliary and others as breadwinners in their various families with aged parents and other dependents. Ojo noted that they had already been punished having spent two years in jail since the trial began.

Justice Esan clarified that the two years they had spent in jail would be removed from their six-year jail term without any option of fine. Ojo and Bakare however said that the ruling would be contested at the Appeal Court.

It would be recalled that in 2014, the Oyo State Police Command paraded Auxiliary for illegal possession of guns. He was arrested by the command’s Special Anti- Robbery Squad, led by Aba Kyari at the Olodo area of Ibadan on May 10, 2014 after an incriminating statement made by an illegal arms dealer, Abdulazeez Amao, who was arrested with arms hidden in bags of flour.

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