Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Police in Ogun State have re-arraigned 13 suspected smugglers who allegedly abducted an operative of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdul-Rasheed Salami, in April, 2018.
The suspects were arraigned on Friday before a Magistrate Court 1 sitting in Isabo, Abeokuta, the state capital on a three count charge of conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping as well as wilful and unlawful damage of two vehicles belonging to NCS, Federal Operation Unit, Ikeja.
In the amended charge sheet number MA/797C/2018, read before the court by the prosecution counsel, Bale Nimnan, the suspect, which included a woman, were said to have committed the offence on the 14th April, 2018 along the Ilo-Awela Road, along the Toll Gate axis of Sango-Ota in the Ado-Odo/Ota local government area of the state.
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The suspects had on August 5, 2018 been arraigned before the Magistrate Court 1 and 2, presided over by Magistrate A.I. Adelaja, on a three count charge in suit numbers MA/347C/2018 and MA/559C/2018, but were granted bail.
The suspects, including Ojewale Abiodun, Idowu Ogundepo, Saheed Akanbi, Oladele Dayo, Raji Jamiu, Bankole Akeem, Sanni Saheed, Bukola Tosin, Akinola Hammed and Hassan Rofiat, were accused of being accomplices in the gun duel which occurred between the NCS operatives and smugglers at the old Toll Gate in April this year.
During the incident, suspected smugglers allegedly unleashed mayhem on the NCS operatives which led to the abduction and kidnap of the victim, Abdul-Rasheed Salami, an Inspector of Customs.
Two vehicles belonging to the NCS’s Federal Operation Unit (FOU), a Toyota Hilux with registration number AP 80 CS and a Toyota Hummer Bus marked AQ 74 CS, were also destroyed during the fracas.
The 13 suspects, however, pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them when they were re-arraigned yesterday in Abeokuta.
But ruling over the matter, the court, presided over by Magistrate Titilayo Bello, adjourned hearing on the matter to 18th December, 2018.