August 16, 2022

Reporters’ Diary

Factual Reportage

Again, court adjourns demolition case against Chief Imam of Ibereko

The Magistrates’ Court sitting in Badagry, Lagos State, on Wednesday again, adjourned the case of an alleged destruction of Aje Shrine in Ibereko, filed against Chief Abdul-Fatai Gbadamosi, 69, and others at large, until Sept.23.

Chief Magistrate Lazarus Hotepo, said that the court was ready for the hearing having discovered that the two sides were not ready to resolve the matter out of court

Hotepo, however, adjourned against Gbadamosi, who is also Chief Imam of Ibereko Community, due to plead from defense counsel to give them another chance to resolve the case out of court again.

He granted the request of the defense counsel to allow peace to reign, adding that the children who see the Muslims and traditional worshippers going to Court would not believe in the social study teachers that say religion brings peace and harmony.

The Chief Magistrate, however, said that the court had no right to choose the venue of the reconciliation meeting for them.

The prosecutor, Insp. Ayodele Adeosun, said the complainant had met twice at the palace of Onibereko of Ibereko, Oba Israel Okoya for reconciliation but the defendant did not attend.

Adeosun said the monarch involvement in the matter was relevant and would bring peace.

The defense counsel, Mr L A Rasheed, said that the defendant had refused to attend the meeting at the palace because the monarch was not part of the case.

Rasheed said the paramount ruler had arrested the defendant and detained him more than three in Police station.

The defense counsel said the defendant are ready to meet complainant at any venue different from the palace of the monarch.

He appealed to the Magistrate to allow the two parts to meet at the court premises and resolve the matter.

The court had on July 1, adjourned the case until Aug.18, for out of court settlement, the reports that Gbadamosi was accused of destroying the Aje Shrine in Badagry.

The accused was first arraigned on March 18, when he pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.

The Prosecutor, had told the court that the defendant committed the offence on March 17 at about 1.00 p.m. at Ibereko Community, Badagry area of Lagos.

Adeosun said that the defendant damaged the Aje Shrine, being property of Ibereko Community.

He said that the defendant acted in a manner likely to cause breach of public peace by disturbing traditional religion worship at the Aje Shrine.

The prosecution said that the defendant was caught during the act and handed over to the police for prosecution.

According to him, the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 339 and 168 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

The court granted him bail of N500, 000 and ordered him to produce two sureties.

The trial was expected to continue on April 13, but could not hold due to the strike by judiciary workers, and was then adjourned until July 1 for hearing.