Police arraign Osun APC caucus’ leaders for assaulting Oyetola’s loyalists
TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The intra party squabbles rocking the All Progressives Congress in Osun State took a new dimension on Monday when some loyalists of the Minister Of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, were arraigned by the Police before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Osogbo for alleged assault and conspiracy.
Those arraigned included a former Chairman of the party and the incumbent Chairman of a caucus in the party, The Osun Progressives, Reverend Adelowo Adebiyi, Caretaker Secretary of the party, Hon Rasaq Salinsile, former Commissioner for Works and Transports, Engr. Kazeem Salami, former Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Com. Biyi Odunlade, former Special Adviser to the Governor on Taxation, Barr. Gbenga Akano , a member of the APC in Ilesa, Alaba Popoola, and another member, Azeez Adekunle.
The defendants are loyalists of Aregbesola, a former Governor in the state. They had been enmeshed in crisis with other leaders of the party, said to be loyal to Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
They were accused of assaulting two persons, Muideen Ajetunmobi and Usman Lekan, said to be loyalists of Oyetola at the APC Secretariat, Ogo-Oluwa area, Osogbo, on August 14, 2021.
The Police prosecutor, John Idoko, informed the court that the defendants and others at large, conspired, hit the duo with stones and broken plastic chairs that caused them harm on their heads.
The charge sheet obtained in court read, “That you Popoola Alaba, aged 40, Azeez Adekunle, 42, Comrade Biyi Odunlade, Engr Kareem Aderemi Salami, Revd Lowo Adebiyi, Salinsile Rasaq and Gbenga Akano and others now at large, on the 14th day of August 2021 at about 1:30pm at Ogo Oluwa Osogbo in the Osogbo Magisterial district, did conspire among yourselves to commit felonies to wit assault occasional harm.
“That you (defendants) and others now at large on the same day, time, place and in the aforementioned Magisterial district, did unlawfully assault one Hamzat Lukman Babatunde by hitting him with stones on his head, which caused him harm.
That you (defendants) and others now at large, on the same day, time and aforementioned Magisterial district, did unlawfully assault one Ajetumobi Muidoen by hitting him with parts of broken plastic chairs on his head, which caused him harm,” the three counts slammed on the party stalwarts read in part.
Police prosecution argued that they committed offences contrary to and punishable under Section 516 and 355 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Vol. Il, laws of Osun state of Nigeria 2002.
But the APC chieftains pleaded not guilty to the allegations. Defence counsels, Abdulfatai Abdulsalam and Muftau Adediran prayed the court to grant the party chieftains bail on self recognisance. The police did not object the oral bail application.
However, Chief Magistrate Olusegun Ayilara granted Salinsile, Adebiyi, Salami, Odunlade and Akano bail, on self recognisance in the sum of N5million each.
Ayilara also admitted Alaba and Adekunle to bail in a sum of N5million with one surety each in the same amount. He said the suretyies must either be a civil servant or house owner residing within the jurisdiction of the Chief Magistrate.
The matter was adjourned till September 24 for mention.
Recall that skirmishes had occured at the party Secretariat on Saturday, August 14, when some aggrieved members of the party, beseiged the party’s office to submit their petitions to the Ward Congress Appeal Committee in the state.