Four persons, who allegedly exhumed the corpse of their landlord before selling his property, on Monday appeared before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
The three accused men and a woman are Silifatu Abisile, 60; Jimoh Abisile, 52; Gbade Bakare, 56; and Isaiah Bakare, 45.
The accused are facing a-five-count charge of conspiracy, kidnapping, breach of peace, forgery and false assumption of authority.
The Police Prosecutor, Williams Ologun, told the court that the accused committed the offences on Nov. 1, at Ishola Daniel Street in Oshodi area of Lagos.
Ologun alleged that the accused had conspired to illegally sell the house they were living, which did not belong to them.
He said that a prospective buyer had insisted they relocated the grave that was in front of the house before he would make payments.
“My Lord, they forged an exhumation of corpse permit from Oshodi -Isolo Local Government and dug up the corpse of the house owner, Sumonu Bakare, who was buried in the compound.
“They also kidnapped the son of the deceased; Gbenro Bakare, who is crippled, thinking he was the only surviving child of the deceased,” he said.
Ologun said that the first and second accused were relations of the deceased while the third and fourth accused were long time tenants on the property.
He said that the third and fourth accused had registered for change of name to ‘Bakare’, which was not their real names, claiming to be the children of the deceased.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offences contravened Sections 76 (1) [c], 168 (1) (d), 271 (1), 365 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Chief Magistrate, Mr Peter Ojo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
In his ruling, Ojo insisted that one of each accused sureties must be a blood relation and must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction.
He said each of the sureties must also show evidence of three years tax payment to the Lagos Government and be gainfully employed.
Ojo adjourned the case until Jan. 10 for trial.