Legal Nigeria

72-year-old activist, mechanic arraigned for kidnapping judge

A 72-year-old journalist and human rights activist, Pa Ahmed Adoke, and 41-year-old mechanic, Mr. John Sule, were on Wednesday arraigned by the Kogi State Police Command for allegedly kidnapping a state High Court judge, Justice Samuel Obayomi.
Adoke, who is related to the immediate past Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, and Sule   were arraigned before the Lokoja Chief Magistrate’s Court II presided over by Mr. Alhassan Husaini. They were alleged to have on May 25, along with others now at large, conspired, armed themselves with offensive weapons and kidnapped the judge.
Obayomi, a High Court Judge of Ebogogo in the Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State, was abducted by three gunmen, all  dressed in black on May 25. The victim was released barely after 34 days in the kidnappers’ den.
During the kidnap, the judge’s police orderly, Mr. Usman Musa, was shot dead while the kidnappers drove away the judge in his Toyota Yaris car and later demanded N150m as ransom for the victim’s release.
According to the Police First Information Report made available to journalists in Lokoja, the accused persons wielding AK-47 rifles and locally made pistols disguised themselves and waylaid the judge on Ebogogo road, close to the court premises.
The FIR, which was read by the Prosecuting Police Officer, Mr. C.S. Ayabatu, said that the gang instantly shot   Musa, who died on the spot.
They allegedly took the judge to an unknown destination only to release him after allegedly collecting a ransom.
The FIR added that the accused were arrested on June 6, by a team of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad from Abuja and brought to the state Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Lokoja.
According to Ayabatu, the two accused persons all from Okene in Okene LGA of Kogi State, were charged with criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide and kidnapping contrary to sections 97(1) and 221 of the Penal Code Law and Part 1 section 3(a)(i)(ii) of the state Kidnapping, Thuggery and Other Related Offences Prohibition Law 2010.
The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the offences.
Adoke’s counsel, Mr. Muazu Abbas, orally applied that the accused be granted bail.
But, Ayabatu vehemently opposed the bail application, saying the offences were not bailable.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr. Alhassan Husain, in his ruling refused the accused persons bail and ordered that they be remanded at the Federal Prisons, Koton-Karfe.