An Ebute Metta Chief Magistrate Court, on Thursday, in Lagos, discharged and acquitted a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Tola Kasali, 63, and two others on alleged murder and possession of firearms.
The Magistrate, Mr. E. O. Ogunkanmi, made the pronouncement after he had read an advice from the office of the State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The two other accused were Mr. Folami Musiliu, 65, a Special Adviser to the Lagos State Government and Mr. Tobun Abiodun Lukman, 35, the Chief Security Officer to one of the APC chieftains in the state.
Kasali was a former Commissioner for Special Duties and former governorship aspirant on the platform of the APC.
Kasali and the two other persons were first arraigned on November 11, 2014, on charges bordering on conspiracy, attempted murder, murder and illegal possession of fire arms.
At the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday, Mr Jonathan Ogunsanya, the prosecutor and a Senior State Counsel, in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, informed the court of an advice signed by the DPP, Mrs E. I. Alakija, and urged the court to act on it.
Ogunkanmi read out a part of the advice, dated March 31, and recommended the discharge of the first, second and third defendants, since no case was preferred against them.
“The first to third defendants are hereby discharged and the case is hereby struck out,” he said.
After reading out the DPP’s advice, Ogunkanmi pronounced the three defendants discharged and acquitted.
The counsel to Kasali, Mr. Kunle Odufayo, said that there was nothing special about the case, adding that the DPP’s advice equally confirmed his client’s position and innocence.
Odufayo said that with the outcome of the case, the judiciary had further demonstrated that it remained the last hope of the common man.
He said that since the law did not allow for self-help, everyone had to ventilate his or her rights.
An advice dated December 9, 2014, and signed by the Lagos State DPP, Mrs Olabisi Ogungbesan, had compelled the police to conduct thorough investigation into the matter.
The letter said that the evidence in the case file could not sustain the charges levelled against the three accused persons.
The men were alleged to have conspired among themselves, and with some others now at large, to have shot and killed one Musiliu Ogboye Lamidi on November 9, 2014, at Akodo, in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of the state, during the collection of Permanent Voters Cards.
They were also alleged to have been in possession of a pump action Avar Magnum gun with registration No 6381, without appropriate authority.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 211, 231, 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011 and Section 27 (b)(1) of the Fire Arm Act. Cap 28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2011.
The court did not take the plea of the accused persons, although Magistrate Olatunbosun Abolarinwa, who was holding brief for Ogunkanmi, granted them bail on self-recognition.