Law News
Arepo killings: Police want case re-opened

The Nigeria Police has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to allow it re-open its case in the trial of the 20 persons alleged of killing nine police officers on May 24 during an oil bunkering deal at the Arepo area of Ogun State.

The police are also asking for the leave of the court to amend the 14-count they brought against the accused persons.

Justice Okon Abang had on October 20, 2014 foreclosed the prosecution’s case following its repeated absence in court after it had called on two witnesses.

After foreclosing the case, Abang had also granted the leave of the court to the defence to submit their no-case applications in response to the argument of the prosecution.

But at the resumed trial last week, the prosecution appeared in court with the two fresh applications and asked the court to place them above the defendants’ pending no-case applications.

Justice Abang adjourned till November 13, 2014 for further hearing.

The police had charged 20 persons to court with a 14-count bordering on conspiracy, pipeline vandalism, oil theft and unlawful killings.

They are Felix Yayu, Ijoufaya, Yakubu Ebiwei, Augustine Ebiwei, Tamara Dembofa, Owei Atile, Agbara Tiewei, Rufus Godwin, Tiery Koiyetin and Ebis Sobijoh.

Others are Ibori Lawrence,  Eberebu Ibori, Atinuke Odewale, Fatai Ishola, Ahmed Bashorun, Odewale Waheed, Susan Viana,  Tuesday Filatei, Yeiyah Yellow and Ismail Abdullahi.

The accused persons were arraigned before Abang on August 7, 2014.

The prosecution opened it case on August 19, 2014 calling on its first witness, ASP Usman Aliyu, who was the Sector Commander of the Arepo Police Department of Anti-Pipeline Vandalism.

The 20 accused persons, since their arraignment, have been remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons as Abang had refused their applications for bail.

While refusing the bail application, the judge had held that it was not safe to grant the bail in view of the severity of the offence. He had however promised that the case would be given accelerated hearing.