One Suleiman Muritala has been killed by a gang, led by Muri Ogbena at Pampo village in the Afon area of Kwara State for failing to pay N50 village dues.
It was reported by Punch that the group of 20 thugs led by Ogbena, the youth group chairman, armed with cutlasses and sticks, stormed Muritala’s house to collect the N50 village due. When the deceased refused and an altercation ensued the gang descended on him with weapons and killed him.
Muritala was murdered around 9:30pm on March 15. The group who had acted on the order of the leader of the community, identified as Kareem Magaji fled the community immediately after the incident.
It was gathered that the 65-year-old Magaji and one Jimoh Ajao, 75, were later arrested by a police team, after the case was reported to the Afon police by neighbours.
The arrest was led by Inspector Jubrin Mamud, and the case was transferred to the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Ilorin.
They were arraigned before a magistrate’s court in Ilorin for criminal conspiracy, breach of public peace and homicide.
The charges read in part, “That, on March 16,2015, at about 10.20am, one Suleiman Sikiru of Pampo Village led some youths numbering 20, on the instruction of one Kareem Magaji, to one Suleiman Muritala’s house with bamboo sticks and cutlasses to collect a N50 due from him. Police investigation revealed that as a result of argument, fight ensued between the youths and Suleiman Muritala, where you, Kareem Magaji and Jimoh Ajao criminally conspired with others now at large and beat him with sticks and other weapons which led to his untimely death. You thereby committed criminal conspiracy, inciting disturbance and culpable homicide.”
The charges, according to the police, contravene sections 97, 114 and 224 of the Penal Code.
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The magistrate, Mr. A. Bello, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties each in like sum. He added that the sureties must be related to the accused by blood.
The case was adjourned till April 15, 2015 for mention.
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