11 men arraigned for allegedly burning police patrol van

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Eleven men, who allegedly torched a police van valued at N500, 000, were on Friday brought before a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.

The accused are Lekan Abolomo, 33; Mikky Jaji, 29; Uchenna Innocent, 20; Aigbe Ekosua, 32; Olalesan Azees, 25; Adonde Gbenupo, 50; and Tope Hassan, 32.

Others include Joshua Akinola, 27; Goodwill Agha, 18; Patrick Felix, 29; and Wasiri Bada, 22.

They are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy, unlawful damage and breach of peace.

The prosecutor, SP Chidi Okoye, said the offences were committed on March 29 at about 10.20 p.m. in front of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Multipurpose Hall, Adeniji Adele on Lagos Island.

Okoye said one of the accused, Abolomo, a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), was christening his daughter, when some of the invited guests engaged in a free-for-all.

“A special anti-robbery squad attached to the Adeniyi Adele Division went to the scene to restore normalcy.

“The host (Abolomo) was invited by the police and asked to produce the permit given to him to organise a party in a public place at that time of the day.

“Abolomo could not produce the permit and he was invited to the station. This infuriated the guests and they started throwing stones and bottles at the police.

“The mob decided to burn a police patrol van at the scene,” he told the court.

The prosecutor said the police threw tear gas to disperse the mob and in the process, one Sgt. Ayo Okandeji shot at the crowd, killing a man identified as Hammed Amoo.

Okoye said the offences contravened Sections 166 (d), 339 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The Chief Magistrate, A.O. Awogboro, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200, 000 each with two sureties each in like sum.

The case was adjourned to April 23 for mention.

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