The Ondo State Security Network Agency, known as the Amotekun Corps, has prosecuted a man, John Bidemi, in Akure Magistrates Court for attempting to kill a 70-year-old woman.
Bidemi was brought to court for escaping legal custody.
According to the prosecution, the defendant tried to assassinate the septuagenarian identified as Victoria Omotayo, stabbing her with a knife on July 12, 2021 at around 10 a.m.
The crime was said to be punishable under article 320 of the Penal Code Law, cap 37, vol. 1, Laws of the Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.
The charge also revealed that the defendant, also escaped from custody on October 22, 2020 in Benin, while in the legal custody of the penitentiary, and therefore committed an offense punishable under article 135 (a) of the Law of the Penal Code Cap. 37, vol. 1, Ondo State Law.
With the prosecutor, OF Akeredolu, noting that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear criminal matters such as attempted murder, he stated that the crime can be sentenced to life imprisonment under mandatory article 230 (2) of the Criminal Code of the State of Ondo.
Therefore, Akeredolu requested a postponement that would allow him to transfer the file to the office of the Director of the Public Ministry (DPP) for legal advice.
He stated that the court has the legal power to send the defendant to the correctional facility until legal advice is issued.
The defendant’s attorney, Yemi Salau, who urged the court not to return the defendant, said that proper procedure according to Section 2269 must be strictly followed so that the defendant’s freedom is not impaired as a Nigerian citizen.
He indicated that: “Under the Criminal Justice Law, there is a provision for this, that if you are seeking preventive detention in court, you must submit a request for the preventive detention of said scholarship recipient, which was not followed in this instance. So, any preventive detention made by this court is illegal ”.
He begged the court to grant the defendant free bail with a liberal term, promising that bail will not be skipped. However, in his ruling, the chief magistrate, Musa Al-Yunus, said that the court has jurisdiction to try the case.
On whether the second crime could be tried in Ondo state, Al-Yunus said that although it happened in Benin, it could also be tried in Ondo state because it is the same court of competent jurisdiction.
Subsequently, the magistrate ordered the preventive detention of the accused in a prison pending the outcome of the DPP’s advice and postponed the case until August 23.
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