Absence of Interpreter Stalls Arraignment of Kidnappers

The arraignment of five men, accused of abducting some pupils and staff members of Nigeria/Tulip International College, Isheri, Ogun State, on January 13, 2017, was Tuesday stalled due to absence of an interpreter in court.
When the case was called at a Federal High Court, Abuja, Tuesday, the defendants said they do not understand or speak English language very well apart from pidgin English.
The case was stood down for more than an hour to search for an Interpreter but to no avail.
The trial Judge, Justice John Tsoho, had to adjourn to June 21 (Wednesday) to enable the court provide an interpreter.
In a short ruling, Justice Tsoho said “It is regretted that the court could not locate a interpreter to translate proceedings to pidgin English therefore court adjourns to tomorrow to look for a competent and unbiased interpreter”
The accused are Bekewei Agbojule (a.k.a Asari), Egbasimokumo Ayeomi (a.k.a Effiong), Godspower Olopele, Toki Okuba and Super Allen Baye (a.k.a Yanga).
They were alleged to be involved in the acts of hostage taking and receiving of ransom, acts of terrorism punishable by life imprisonment under the Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013.
In the five-count charge preferred against the defendants, the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, the prosecuting agency, alleged that they conspired among themselves and with others at large, and demanded N800m as ransom after they seized and detained their victims .
They were said to have demanded N800m as ransom, but later reduced it to N50m which they allegedly received before releasing the victims.
The seven pupils and staff members of Nigeria/Tulip International College, Isheri, Ogun State, allegedly abducted by the defendants were Stephanie Nwosu, Zainab Olatubosun, Rebecca Agodi, Radiyan Aminu, Rashidat Ibrahim, Hanat Aderinto and Deriyo Yaziel.
The prosecution also alleged in counts four and five that the same set of defendants, along with others at large, on December 16, 2016, at Asolo Bridge, Ikorodu Expressway, Lagos, seized at gun point one Joshua Olayinka Audu , Rita Morah, Kendra Abiose and four others.
The defendants were said to have after seizing the six victims in Ikorodu, gone ahead to detain them at Ibafo Creek, Ogun State.
They allegedly demanded a monetary ransom of N2m from the family members of the victims and received the money before releasing the abductees.
The prosecution alleged that the offence of conspiracy to commit hostage taking was an act of terrorism contrary to section 17 of St Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, 2013, and punishable under the same section of the Act.
It alleged that other offences of seizing, hostage taking and demanding ransome were also acts of terrorism said to be contrary to 15 (1) of Terrorism (Prevention) (Amendment) Act, and punishable under the same section of the Act.
The charges read, “That you, Bekewei Agbojule a.k.a Asari, of College Road Abapa/Arogbo, Ondo State; Egbasimokumo Ayeomi, a.k.a Effiong of Opuba village, Arogbo town, Ondo State; Godspower Olopele of Araromi Majidun, Ikorodu, Lagos; Toki Okuba of Ijaw village behind Opic Estate, Isheri, Ogun State and Super Allen Baye a.k.a Yanga of Opuba village, Arogbo, Ondo State, on or about January 13, 2017, at Nigeria/Tulip International College, Isheri, Ogun State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire amongst yourselves and others at large to commit an offence to wit: hostage taking.
“That you, Bekewei Agbojule, a.k.a Asari, of College Road Abapa/Arogbo, Ondo State; Egbasimokumo Ayeomi, a.k.a Effiong of Opuba village, Arogbo town, Ondo State; Godspower Olopele of Araromi Majidun, Ikorodu, Lagos; Toki Okuba of Ijaw village behind Opic Estate, Isheri, Ogun State and Super Allen Baye a.k.a Yanga of Opuba village, Arogbo, Ondo State, on or about January 13, 2017, at Nigeria/Tulip International College, Isheri, Ogun State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did commit an offence to wit: hostage taking in that you seized some staff and students of Nigeria/Tulip International College, Isheri, Ogun State, namely, Nwosu Stephanie, Olatubosun Zainab, Agodi Rebecca, Radiyan Aminu, Rashidat Ibrahim, Aderinto Hanat and Deriyo Yaziel at gun point to compel their family members to pay ransom before releasing them.
“That you, Bekewei Agbojule, a.k.a Asari, of College Road Abapa/Arogbo, Ondo State; Egbasimokumo Ayeomi, a.k.a Effiong of Opuba village, Arogbo town, Ondo State; Godspower Olopele of Araromi Majidun, Ikorodu, Lagos; Toki Okuba of Ijaw village behind Opic Estate, Isheri, Ogun State and Super Allen Baye a.k.a Yanga of Opuba village, Arogbo, Ondo State, on or about January 13, 2017, at Nigeria/Tulip International College, Isheri, Ogun State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did commit an offence to wit: hostage taking in that you detained some staff and students of Nigeria/Tulip International College, Isheri, Ogun State, namely, Nwosu Stephanie, Olatubosun Zainab, Agodi Rebecca, Radiyan Aminu, Rashidat Ibrahim, Aderinto Hanat and Deriyo Yaziel and demanded from their family members a monetary ransom of eight hundred million naira (N800,000,000), which you later reduced to the sum of fifty million naira (N50,000,000) and received by you before releasing them.
“That you, Bekewei Agbojule, a.k.a Asari, of College Road Abapa/Arogbo, Ondo State; Egbasimokumo and yeomi, a.k.a Effiong of Opuba village, Arogbo town, Ondo State; Godspower Olopele of Araromi Majidun, Ikorodu, Lagos; Toki Okuba of Ijaw village behind Opic Estate, Isheri, Ogun State and Super Allen Baye a.k.a Yanga of Opuba village, Arogbo, Ondo State, on or about December 16, 2016, at Asolo Bridge, Ikorodu Expressway, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did commit an offence to wit: hostage taking in that you seized one Joshua Olayinka, Rita Morah, Kendra Abiose and four others at gun point to compel their family members to pay ransom before releasing them.
“That you, Bekewei Agbojule, a.k.a Asari, of College Road Abapa/Arogbo, Ondo State; Egbasimokumo Ayeomi, a.k.a Effiong of Opuba village, Arogbo town, Ondo State; Godspower Olopele of Araromi Majidun, Ikorodu, Lagos; Toki Okuba of Ijaw village behind Opic Estate, Isheri, Ogun State and Super Allen Baye a.k.a Yanga of Opuba village, Arogbo, Ondo State, on or about December 16, 2016, at Ibafo Creek, Ogun State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did commit an offence to wit: hostage taking, in that you detained one Joshua Olayinka, Rita Morah, Kendra Abiose and four others and demanded a monetary ransom of two million naira (N2,000,000) from their family members which you received before releasing them.”

Author: News Editor

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