The Ondo State Security Network Agency, known as Amotekun Corps, has arraigned a man, John Bidemi, before an Akure Magistrate’s Court for attempting to kill a 70-year-old woman.
Bidemi was dragged before the court for escaping from lawful custody.
According to the prosecution, the defendant attempted to kill the septuagenarian identified as Victoria Omotayo, by stabbing her with a knife on July 12, 2021, at about 10.00 am.
The offense was said to be punishable under Section 320 of Criminal Code Law, cap 37, vol.1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria 2006.
The charge also revealed that the accused, also escaped from custody on October 22, 2020, in Benin, while in the lawful custody of the Correctional facility, and thereby committed an offense punishable under Section 135 (a) of Criminal Code Law Cap. 37, Vol. 1, Law of Ondo State.
With the prosecution counsel, O.F Akeredolu, stressing that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain criminal matters like attempted murder, he stated that the offense is liable to life imprisonment under the mandatory Section 230 ( 2) of the Ondo State Criminal Code.
Akeredolu, therefore, sought an adjournment to enable him to transfer the case file to the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.
He submitted that the court has the statutory power to remand the defendant at the Correctional center till the legal advice was issued.
Counsel to the defendant, Yemi Salau, who urged the court not to remand the accused said the proper procedure according to Section 2269 must be followed strictly so that the liberty of the accused will not be affected as a citizen of Nigeria.
He canvassed that: “Under the Criminal Justice Law, there is a provision for it, that if you are seeking remand in court, you must come with an application to remand such fellow which was not followed in this instance. So, any remand made by this court is unlawful.”
He pleaded with the court to grant the defendant bail on a liberal term, promising that he will not jump bail.
In his ruling, the Chief Magistrate, Musa Al-Yunus, however, said the court has jurisdiction to try the case.
On whether the second offense could be tried in Ondo State, Al-Yunus said though it happened in Benin, it could also be tried in Ondo State because it’s the same court of competent jurisdiction.
The Magistrate subsequently ordered the remand of the accused person in the correctional facility pending the outcome of advice from the DPP and adjourned the case till August 23.