Suspected commercial drivers numbering 22 were yesterday arraigned by the Oyo State Police Command for offences bordering on perpetrating violence in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The suspects were arrested during violent clashes between members of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the city on Friday.
They clashed at different motor parks, including Iwo Road, Monatan and Agugu.
No life was lost but several people were injured.
Among the suspects arraigned at an Iyaganku Chief Magistrates Court in Ibadan were Modasiru Muraina, 48; Sikuru Olaiwola, 22; Oyebanji Kabiru, 23; Alade Busari, 28; Lateef Afeez 29; Safiu Abass 25; Tunde Saka 21; Mumini Ganiyu 40 and Ahmed Moshood 25.
Others are Aminu Saibu, 37; Tunde Ajayi 23; Lukmon Rasheed, 31; Abudulahi Olode 35; Yekini Aliu 26; Akibu Kazeem 40; Muideen Anifowose 27; Mustapha Ogunjide 30, Oladipo Sakiru 53; Sunday Aromolaran 25; Peter Adekunle 34; Adesina Alaba 23 and Raheem Musa 42.
They were charged with six-count of conspiracy, attempted murder, unlawful possession of criminal charms and acts in a disorderly manner.
The charge sheet shows that the suspects were accused of an attempt to kill one Kazeem Oguntolu, 42, with cutlass.
The first two counts of conspiracy and attempted murder were, however, not read to the defendants and no pleas were taken for the two charges.
But the accused persons pleaded ‘not guilty’ to other charges of unlawful possession and acts likely to cause breach of public peace in the metropolis.
Police prosecutor M. A. Ojeah said the defendants had in their possession criminal charms without lawful and reasonable excuse.
He added that the offences contradicted Sections 80, 86, 213 and 249 (d) of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol. II Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria 2000.
Ojeah said the jurisdiction of the court did not extend to criminal offences that carry life imprisonment so the plea on attempted murder could not be taken before the court.
“The court cannot equally grant bail when a court cannot try such offence in accordance to Section 118 of the Criminal Procedure Act. The power to grant bail in such matter is reserved for the high court judges,” he said.
A counsel to one of the defendants, Mr. John Adejumo, urged the court to strike out all counts, including the one of attempted murder on the grounds that it lacked competence and failed to comply with statutory provisions.
The magistrate, Mrs. A. F. Richard, adjourned the case till today for ruling on bail application and directed the accused to be remanded at the Iyaganku Police Station.