Police, Prison Official Clash in Court Premises in Ondo

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Magisrate court

There was a mild drama on Monday at the premises of the Ondo State Magistrate Court, as prison officials and men of the state police command clashed over the custody of a factional traditional monarch of Ayetoro community, in Ilaje Local Government Area, Olorunnbe Ojagbohunmi, who was remanded by the court to prison custody.

Ojagbohunmi who was standing trial before the Magistrate court over alleged crimes including unlawful Assembly, attempted murder, arson and parading himself as the traditional ruler of the coastal community was also brought to the State High Court on another three-count charge.

The factional traditional ruler was also charged with promoting native war contrary to and punishable under section 42 of the Criminal Code cap 37 Vol1 laws of the state,2006.He was also charged with unlawful procession contrary to and punishable under section 42 of the Criminal Code cap 37 Vol1 laws of the state, 2006.

When the case came up for hearing, the counsel to the Police, Mr Olatunji Kazeem said he was not ready with his witnesses and that the accused should be remanded in prison custody.

The lawyer to the accused, Mr Olusola Oke applied for the bail pending the trial in the law court. He argued that the offences are bailable.

Trouble however started when the Presiding Judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe granted Ojagbohunmi bail pending the trial and granted the monarch a N1m bail.

Other conditions attached for the release of Ojagbohunmi provision of two sureties in like sum and one of the sureties must be a monarch while the other surety must be officer not less than level 10 in civil service, and the two sureties. must provide last year’s tax clearance.

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But the Prison officials were prevented from taking custody of the monarch into prison pending the time the monarch meet the bail condition by the police who were present at the court premises.

The policemen vowed not to allow the prison officials move out of the court premises with Ojagbohunmi, saying the monarch still has a case with the police, while the prison officials insisted the rules of the court must be followed.

The Policemen insisted that Ojagbohunmi would be appearing before an High court on Thursday and should remain in police custody pending his arraignment on Thursday and should be returned to police custody and this resulted in heated argument between the two Federal agencies.

The Prison officials led by one Fakunle M.S said since they have remand warrant from the court, there is no going back in keeping Ojagbohunmi with them in the prison until the bail condition are met.

The Prison officials positioned themselves strategically in the court to prevent the Policemen from hijacking the suspect, while the police blocked the main road to prevent the prison officials from moving out of the court, preventing magistrates, lawyers, court officials and journalists from leaving the court premises for over an hour.

When some Senior Policemen came with reinforcement, they went back to the High Court with the intention of upturning the order or get reproduction warrant, but Justice Adegbehingbe said he would not rescind his order and the the Policemen had to leave the premises while the Prison officials  went away with the suspect.

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Ojagbohunmi has been laying claim to the throne of Ogeloyinbo of Ayetoro despite the government recognised monarch, Oba Micah Aijo leading to the crisis in the riverine community of the state.

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