Report by: Uthman Baba- Sirajdeen, Minna
A Mild drama played out at the Chief Magistrate Court Number Two Tunga Minna Thursday when four suspects who were to be convicted and sentenced made a U-turn to plead not guilty to the two count charges earlier brought against them by the men of the Niger State Police Command.
The Four defendants had earlier pleaded guilty to the two count charges brought against them by the police after the charges were read to them by the presiding Chief Magistrate Hajiya Fati Umar Hassan
The four defendants Include Suleiman Ahmadu, Bello Adamu, Harisu Usman and Umar Isiaka were standing trial on two count charges which bothered on Criminal Conspiracy aiding and abetment.
According to the police Prosecutor Dsp Mayaki Abdullahi the two count charges contravened sections 97 and 85 of penal code
They were earlier arraigned before the Minna Chief Magistrate court number two presided by Hajiya Fati Umar Hassan and they all pleaded guilty to the two count charges earlier read to them.
The four defendants were alleged to have conspired among themselves to contribute money for one Bala Kato who was alleged to have been a principal suspected killer of one Alarama Umar Tasiu who escaped to Niger Republic.
Umar Kato was said to have escaped to Niger Republic after the Killing of Alarama Umar Tasiu who was killed early last month in London Street in Minna.
However, when the charges were earlier read to them by the presiding Chief Magistrate Hajiya Fati Umar Hassan they all pleaded guilty to the charges and the Police prosecutor DSP Mayaki Abdullahi prayed the court to invoke the provision section 190 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Niger State.
The Chief Magistrate then reserved their Conviction and sentenced to six of November 2023.
When they were brought on substituted First Information (FIR),report Thursday, by the men of the Niger State Police Command in a turn of events they quickly made a U-turn by denying the earlier charges of guilt they pleaded when they were brought .
After they pleaded not guilty, the police Prosecutor then objected to their bail on the ground that they would interfere with ongoing police investigation to arrest the principal suspected killer of the deceased.
” My Lord, I’m objecting to the bail of the four defendants on the ground that they would interfere with the ongoing police investigation
” Even though the two count charges are bailable offenses, admitting them to bail would interfere with our Investigation. We are objecting to their bail because the police are on the trail of the principal suspected killer who is now on the run”
The Presiding Chief Magistrate Hajiya Fati Umar Hassan while granting them bail as objected by the police Prosecutor she asserted that:
” having perused through the first information report the defendants were not alleged to have conspired with the principal suspected killer.
” And the Prosecutor had told the court that the offenses are bailable offences.I want to use my discretion to admit them on bail in the sum of N2 milion with reasonable surety who must reside within the court jurisdiction.
” One of the surety must be a Chief Imam of any of the Juma’at Mosque in Minna and the second surety must be a businessman who has up to Five Million in his account to also deposit his National I.D card with his recent passport and to write an undertaken to produce the defendants in court or to face the charges brought against them should they escape Prosecution” she ruled
She then adjourned the case till 15 of December 2023 for further mention while they were remanded in correctional Custody pending when they will perfect and meet the bail condition.