Tony Osauzo and Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin-City
The Court of Appeal sitting in Benin-City, on Monday, reserved ruling on a fundamental human rights bail application filed by an ex-policeman, Adeleke Adedeji, who is standing trial for allegedly torturing and killing a car dealer, Benson Obode in 2015.
Adeleke and three other policemen, Oniyo Musa, Abena John and Henry Shobowale were also accused of collecting the sum of N330,000 from the deceased account after allegedly killing him.
They were serving in the Special Anti Robbery Squad, Lagos State when they allegedly commited the offence.
It took the deceased’s family 63 days to locate the morgue where his corpse was deposited and labelled as Benson Agwu.
In the application supported by two paragraph affidavit, counsel to Adelekep, Matthew Oghogho, urged the court to grant his client bail to enable him seek proper medical attention.
Oghogho argued that what the prosecution has against his client was stealing and that the case of murder was yet to be established.
He admitted the accused used the deceased’s ATM to withdraw money to repair the vehicle used to convey the deceased to Lagos State to face trial.
“All they kept saying is that the applicant withdrew money from the victim’s account. The statement did not establish murder. There is nothing to show that my client murdered the suspect.
“The fact before the lower court is not in favour of our client. The man is ill. He may not be alive when judgment will be delivered. He needs treatment and the prison officials have said they don’t have the facilities to treat his ailment”, Oghogho told the court.
But in swift response, Charity Ebosele, who led the prosecution team, said the lower court is waiting for the ex-policeman to open his defence.
She informed the appellate court that previous bail applications for fundamental human rights filed by Adedeji were refused by other courts, adding that the only one granted by a Federal High Court has been vacated.
She alleged that Adedeji as the leader of the police team that killed their victim want to run away and abandon the case.
“They withdrew the money in Lagos State three days after Benson was killed. The applicant had refused to enter his defence since 2017. He is hale and healthy.
“Besides taking the deceased money, his vehicle the policemen took is yet to be found. He has been complaining of ill-health since 2015”, Ebosele, a Deputy Director of Prosecution in the Edo State Ministry of Justice, further told the court.
Affter entertaining arguments from the parties, the three-man panel of Judges of the Court led by Justice J.O Bada, advised the Counsel not to get emotionally involved in cases of their clients.
The Judge urged them to argue the law and leave the rest for the court and therefore, reserved ruling on the application to another date.