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BREAKING:Ondo’s Magistrates’ Court imprisons travelers from the north who are found with firearms.

In Ondo, a commercial driver and his conductor, who were thought to be “terrorists,” were sentenced to five years in prison.

Abubakar Aliu and Aruna Tukur were condemned at the end of the week by a Central Judges’ Court sitting in Akure, the capital of Ondo.

The pair was one of 11 other northerners who were passengers who were found guilty by the Magistrates’ Court of conspiracy and illegal firearms possession.

Other inmates include; Mubarak Tsalhs, Abdularasaq Idris, Rufai Nura, Sagri Musa, Imarana Bello, Tasiu Suliaman, Musa Bala, Saliu Saidu, Musur Adamu, Abduhlai Ibrahim, Imarana Yusuf, and Abdulahi Mustafa

The case was decided by Chief Magistrates Damilola Sekoni, who stated that the defendants were all found guilty of two of the three charges brought against them by the court.

Mr. Sekoni explained that the prosecution’s “circumstantial evidence” presented to the court during trials was the basis for his decision.

“In the examples of the torrential slide of proof before me, every one of the respondents were at legitimate fault for the main charge.

He stated, “The driver and his conductor, the 11th and 13th defendants, were guilty of the second charge.”

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The Magistrate asserts that both sentences must be served concurrently without the possibility of a fine.

“The judgment would serve as a deterrent to those who would want to indulge in such an act,” Mr. Sekoni said of the defendants’ actions.

Amotekun Corps, a state security organization, brought all of the defendants to the Magistrates’ Court on three counts of conspiracy, illegal firearms possession, and wandering in public places.

The prosecuting attorney, Segun Akeredolu, told the court that the defendants were arrested on November 4, 2021, on the Akure/Ondo expressway by local security personnel.

Mr. Akeredolu also explained to the Magistrates’ Court how when Amotekun Corps agents flagged down the vehicle carrying the convicts for inspection while it was traveling through Ondo Road, the vehicle refused to wait and sped off.

He added that the travelers schemed with the driver not to hang tight for agents when they were approached to quit, focusing on that he committed a crime by such activity.

The prosecuting attorney continued, “They were also found wandering in a public place at approximately 2 a.m., and under such circumstances that led to the conclusion that they were at the place for an illegal and disorderly purpose.”

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However, he pointed out that their actions were in violation of Sections 516 and 260 of the Criminal Code of Ondo State, 2006, as well as Section 6(b) of the R11 Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, which was enacted into law in 2004, respectively.

The defendants pleaded not guilty when the case was brought up for discussion over the weekend.

 

O.J. Emmanuel and P.O. Attah, the defendants’ attorneys, told the court earlier in the trial that their clients were innocent travelers who were on their way to Lagos from a park in Kaduna when they were apprehended.

Mr. Emmanuel specifically stated that the bus driver, Aliu, was unaware of the sack containing daggers inside the vehicle.

He went on to say that the bag was given to him as a note for someone in Lagos.

“In their evidence, the defendants each denied being the owner of the bag of weapons found inside the bus because they were just passengers.

He continued, “The driver claimed that no gun was found in the bus and said the sacks containing knives and daggers were messages given to them at the park in Kaduna to be delivered to someone in Lagos, and he did not bother to open the message’s content.”

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A bus carrying 500 pieces of daggers hidden under the seats was stopped by Amotekun Corps agents in November 2021.

The 18 suspects who were inside the vehicle also had guns and knives of various sizes that were hidden in the tiger nut bags.

When Adetunji Adeleye, Commander of the Amotekun Corps, paraded them to reporters in Akure shortly after their arrest, he explained that three of the buses carrying the travelers had gotten away from checkpoints in the state, but that one of them had been stopped in Ondo town.

The three buses escaped when our men attempted to stop them during a brief stop just before they entered the town.

“We needed to radio all our control focuses and we had the option to halt the three transports at a point on Ondo street by a consolidated group including the police and the Nigeria Security and Common Safeguard Corps,” he made sense of.

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