A former Commissioner for Special Duties in Lagos State, Dr. Tola Kasali, has appeared before an Ebute Magistrate Court on charges of Conspiracy, murder and illegal possession of firearms.
Dr. Kasali, 62, who is also vying for the State governorship ticket to contest in the 2015 election under the platform of All Progressive Congress, was charged alongside Folami Musiliu, 65, a Special Adviser to the Lagos state government, and Tobun Abiodun Lukman, 35, a Chief Security Officer to one of the political bigwigs in the state.
The police said the men conspired to kill one Musiliu Lamidi on November 9, 2014, around 2pm at Eko Tourism Hotel, Akodo, in the Ibeju-Lekki area of the state. The police added that they were found in possession of a pump-action gun, with number 6381, without a valid licence issued by the appropriate authorities.
The three men were alleged to have conspired among themselves and with some others now at large, to kill one Musiliu Ogboye Lamidi, on November 9, at Akodo area of Ibeju-Lekki in Lagos.
They were also alleged to have been in possession of a pump action Avar Magnum gum with number 6381, without appropriate authority.
Though the charges were read to the accused persons, their pleas were not taken and the police said the charges were punishable under sections 231, 211, 409 and section 27 (b)(1) of the firearm Act. Cap 28 laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2011.
The police prosecutors, Mr G. O. Osuji, Nosa N., and Inspector George Nwosu, had informed the court that there was an application for the remand of the accused persons pending when an advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) would be received.
A Senior State Counsel, Mr Femi Adamson, who announced his appearance as a prosecutor in the matter, also informed the court of the state government’s wish to take over the prosecution of the case from the police.
After a brief argument, the police conceded to the State Counsel’s request and stepped aside.
Counsel to the accused persons, Mr. Taiwo Ajala, however, urged the court to grant the accused persons bail on self-recognition because of their social status.
He told the court that the first accused, (Folami Musiliu), is a Special Adviser to the Lagos state government, and the second accused, (Tola Kasali), was a former Commissioner for Rural Development, and later for Special Duties, while the third accused (Tobun A. Lukman), is a Chief Security Officer to a political bigwig in the state.
He said the charges against them was just a mere rumour and that the accused persons were presumed to be innocent until otherwise proven by the law court.
Mr Ajala further stated that remanding the accused persons would draw back the service they rendered to the state.
Following this submission, the chief magistrate in his ruling said: “The court sees the accused persons as those who will uphold the law and order of the land, hence, the court has confidence in their ability to show up in court when they are needed.
“So, they are hereby granted bail on self-recognition”.
The Chief Magistrate, however, ordered the prosecution to duplicate the case file and forward it to DPP for advice, while the matter was adjourned till December 11.
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