Murder: Lagos Court Frees APC Chieftain, 2 Others

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An Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court on Thursday in Lagos  discharged and acquitted an APC chieftain,  Dr Tola Kasali,63,  and two others over alleged murder and possession of  firearms.
The magistrate, Mr  E. O. Ogunkanmi, made the pronouncement after he had read an advice  from the office of the State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The two other accused are Mr Folami Musiliu, 65, a Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government and Mr Tobun Abiodun Lukman, 35, the  Chief Security Officer to one of the APC chieftains in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kasali was a former Commissioner for Special Duties  and former governorship aspirant on the platform of  the APC  in  Lagos State.
Kasali and the two other persons were first arraigned on Nov.  11, 2014, on charges bordering on conspiracy, attempted murder, murder and illegal possession of fire arms.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Mr Jonathan Ogunsanya, the prosecutor and  a Senior State Counsel in  the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, informed the court of an advice signed by the DPP, Mrs  E. I. Alakija, and urged the court to effect this.
Ogunkanmi  read out a part of the advice  dated March 31 and  recommending the discharge of  the first, second and third defendants  as no case was preferred against them.
“The first to third defendants are hereby discharged  and the case is hereby struck out, ” he said.
After reading out the DPP’s advice,  Ogunkanmi pronounced the three defendants discharged and acquitted.
Mr. Kunle Odufayo, the counsel to Kasali,  said that there was nothing special about the case, adding that the DPP’s  advice equally confirmed his client’s  position and innocence.
Odufayo said that with the outcome of the case, the judiciary had further demonstrated that it remained the last hope of the common man.
He said that since the law did not allow for self help, everyone had to ventilate his or her rights.
At the last adjourned date, the DPP had ordered the police to conduct further investigations into the alleged murder charges leveled against the three persons.
An advice dated Dec. 9, 2014, and signed by the Lagos State DPP,  Mrs  Olabisi Ogungbesan, had compelled the police to conduct thorough investigation  into the matter.
The letter said that the evidence in the case file could not sustain the charges leveled against the three accused persons.
NAN reports that the men were alleged to have conspired among themselves  and with some others now at large  to have shot and killed one Musiliu Ogboye Lamidi  on Nov. 9, 2014, at Akodo in  Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of the state during the collection of Permanent Voters Cards.
They were also alleged to have been in possession of a pump action Avar Magnum gun with registration No 6381, without appropriate authority.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 211, 231, 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011 and Section 27 (b)(1) of the Fire Arm Act. Cap 28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011.
The court did not take the plea of the accused persons, although Magistrate Olatunbosun Abolarinwa,  who was holding brief for Ogunkanmi,  granted them bail on self recognition.
The counsel to Kasali had urged the court to admit the accused persons to  bail due to their social status.
When the accused persons were charged before the court, the then prosecutor, Mr  Femi Adamson, a Senior State Counsel and  now a judge, had informed the court that the matter should be referred to the DPP  for legal advice.
Adamson also advised the court prosecutor to verify the addresses of the accused persons?

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