Court Discharges Man After 9 Years Awaiting Trial
Hon. Justice Rahman Adesola Oshodi sitting at the Ikeja Division of the High Court of Lagos State today discharged Muideen Bilau after nine (9) years of remand at the Kiri Kiri Medium Correctional Centre.
Muideen Bilau was arrested on 5th of April, 2014 around Igando area of Lagos State where he paid visit to one of his friends from his hometown of Oyo, Oyo State and was arraigned on Monday, 14th of April, 2014 before HIS HONOUR T. A. ELIAS (CM II) at Court 5, Abule Egba, Ikeja Magisterial District, for an alleged offence of defilement and later remanded in the Kiri Kiri Medium prison, now correctional centre.
He was discharged on the application of his team of Lawyers led by Yusuf Temilola NURUDEEN, Esq. who moved the Court relying on the provisions of Section 232 (1) (b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State 2015 (2021 as amended), Section 35(4) and 36(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Yusuf in praying the Court to discharge the Defendant informed the Court that the Defendant had since been remanded in the prison now correctional centre since 14th of April, 2014, without trial. As a matter of fact, the state preferred information against the Defendant sequel to his application for the enforcement of the Defendant’s fundamental rights instituted the Federal High Court filed on 21st of May, 2020. He said the information preferred 16th of July, 2020 was an afterthought.
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That Hon. Justice T. G. Ringim of the Federal High Court delivered judgment on 14th of September, 2021 based on the fact that the State had preferred information against the Defendant before a Court of competent jurisdiction.
That since the arraignment of the Defendant on 30th of September, 2021, the prosecution had failed to bring any of the Six (6) witnesses listed in the information even when the Court has ordered accelerated hearing and witness summons.
In response to the application of the Defendant’s Counsel, the prosecution Counsel Inumidun Okeowo left the issue to the discretion of the Court
In the well-considered ruling, Justice R. A. Oshodi held that this a case where the Court will invoke its inherent powers and the provisions of Section 232(1)(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State 2015 (2021 as amended), Section 35(4) and 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). The Court discharged the Defendant.