The Nation (Nigeria)

Osun files murder charge against masquerade custodian Esuleke

•Chief Imam, suspect granted bail

- From Toba Adedeji, Osogbo

THE Osun State Ministry of Justice has filed a murder charge against the custodian of masquerade in Osogbo, Chief Kayode Esuleke, at the State High Court.

Prosecutor from the state Ministry of Justice led by Administra­tor General and Public Trustee, Abiodun Badiora, yesterday stated this to The Nation.

This came as an Osun State Magistrate Court sitting in Osogbo yesterday granted bail to the Chief Imam of Kamarudeen Mosque, Kazeem Yunus, son of the custodian of masquerade, Ifashola Esuleke and five others over alleged vandalisat­ion, assault and engaging in a public fight.

The charges followed a clash between the masquerade worshipper­s and Muslim faithful around Kamarudeen mosque, where one person was shot dead, 14 sustained injury and properties damaged.

The Ministry of Justice on July 8 took over the case from the police and sought an adjournmen­t to understudy the case.

The magistrate, Mr. Asimiyu Adebayo, granted the prayer and adjourned the matter till July 12 for the accused person to be arraigned.

Yesterday, there was heavy security presence at the premises of the court as prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice, led by Badiora, arraigned the seven suspects on a single charge with different offences.

The defendants, Ifashola Esuleke, Kola Adeosun and Idowu Abimbola were arraigned on four counts of vandalisin­g Kamarudeen mosque; damaging a Toyota Camry with Registrati­on Number Lagos GGE 954 BV belonging to Muslim faithful of Islamic Society of Nigeria and engaging in a public fight on June 27 at Oluode Aranyin Area, Osogbo.

Kazeem Yunus, Salawu Jimoh, Alarape Sulaiman Akanbi and Raimi Saheed were charge on six counts for assaulting police officers, Inspector Titilayo Bello and Adeshina

Oluwafemi attached to Ojaoba Police Division when performing their lawful official duty and engaging themselves in a public fight.

Badiora noted that the offences committed contravene Section 451, 517, 356(5), 197, 83 and 355 of Criminal Code Laws of Osun State, 2002.

However, the seven defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against them.

The counsel for the masquerade­rs, Abimbola Ige and for the Muslims, Kazeem Odedeji, made an oral bail applicatio­n for the defendants on the most liberal term.

Magistrate Adebayo granted their bail with N1 million and one surety each. He adjourned the matter to September 13 for hearing.

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