An Igbosere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, on Tuesday acquitted five indigenes of Ilagbo community, Ibeju-Lekki, who were charged for murder by the police.
Segun Salami, Samson Abimbola, Sikiru Egunjemi, Aliu Egunjemi and Jimoh Ogunnupe were substituted as murder suspects by the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID).
They were arraigned on August 15 before Magistrate Awoyele Oshin and remanded in prison after the police accused them of killing two prominent members of the community – Suleiman Akewusola and Salami Musiliu a.k.a Mantanle – in May.
At the resumed hearing, counsel to the defendants, Sadiku Ibitayo, told the court presided over by Magistrate A.F.O Botoku that the investigating team from the FCIID was culpable in the deceit.
He told the court that policemen led by Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Unit from Area 10, Abuja, were culpable in the willful subversion of truth, miscarriage of justice and whimsical digression from the cause of the murders.
He said the Homicide Department of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, had earlier carried out a thorough investigation into the matter.
According to him, few days to the arraignment of the real suspects, CSP Chike and ASP Attah from the FCIID swooped in.
He said: “The investigation had unravelled Hammed Sanwo, Adebola, Alfa Jabaru, Tosin Adenuga, Muro Yusuf and Muse Arashi as the real suspects but the officers mentioned above whisked the file to Abuja.
“In a shameful twist of event, the real suspects were substituted for Segun Salami, Samson Abimbola, Sikiru Egunjemi, AliuEgunjemi and Jimoh Ogunnupe after detaining them for over two months.
“In an attempt to salvage the situation, I wrote a detailed petition on August 21, to the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) demanding that the FCIID team from Area 10, Abuja, be investigated and dissolved for their repeated miscarriage of justice and shame brought to the image of the police.
“That the IGP should use his good office to swiftly look into the gruesome murder of Salami Musili and Suliaman Akeushola and the case of Arson committed in Orinyarin.
“The case file was sent to the office of Attorney General of Lagos. The Director Public Prosecution (DPP) after a careful and thorough review, exposed the copious atrocities committed by the officers with the connivance of some undisclosed money bags sponsoring the repeated killings in the community.
“Reading through the legal advice, it was obvious the criminal/killer swap perfected by the police was premeditated, deliberate and executed.”