Murder trial: Olukere granted bail, other accused are in custody

 Ekiti State high court on Friday granted bail to the Olukere of Ikere-Ekiti, Ganiyu Obasoyin, who was slammed with a murder charge by the state government.

Justice Abiodun Adesodun, in his ruling on the bail application filed by the Olukere, admitted the Obasoyin to bail in the sum of N5 million and two sureties in like sum.

He also ruled that the two sureties must swear to affidavits and produce tax clearance certificate showing evidence of tax payment for three years.

Justice Adesodun further held that one of the sureties must deposit land titles within the jurisdiction of the court.

Olukere’s lead counsel, Mr Morakinyo Ogele said: “This ruling is symbolic and historic; symbolic in the sense that it is in favour of justice and historic in the sense that it will enter into the judicial history of Ekiti.

“We believe that will be done eventually in this case.”

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kolapo Kolade, left the court before Justice Adesodun finished delivering the ruling.

Justice Adesodun ruled that if released to the credible surety, the applicant would not jump bail considering his position as an Olukere.

The judge said he had studied the affidavit filed by the defence and the counter affidavit filed by the prosecution and noted that the grant or refusal of bail was predicated on some factors.

Some of the factors, according to him, include the nature and strength of evidence, severity of the punishment upon conviction, the probability that the accused will not present himself for trial and the likelihood of interfering in the case.

Justice Adesodun held that the grant or refusal of bail was at the discretion of the court but “it must be done judicially and judiciously.”

Although the Olukere was not present in court on Friday, some of his chiefs, family members and supporters celebrated in hushed tones as the court rose.

Standing trial with the Olukere are Ajewole Sunday, Adetowoju Bode, Kayode Michael, Olowolafe Tola and Aluko Taiwo.

They are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and murder.

The Olukere was arrested and detained on December 25 last year shortly after his hotel, Arede Royal Suites located in Gbemisola area of Ikere-Ekiti, was attacked and vandalized by some individuals.

The Olukere and his supporters gave the suspected hoodlums a hot chase and caught up with them at Ojumose area of Ado-Ekiti.

One of those who allegedly attacked the hotel, Kolade Adefemi, was killed during the scuffle.

The two of the suspected attackers of the hotel, Ayodele Osanyinbola and Babatunde Ayodele, were kept in custody, but were released by the Magistrate’s Court following advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

The Olukere has been locked in a running battle with Governor Ayo Fayose on the non-presentation of staff of office to him and attempt by the state government to demolish the Ereja Shrine, located in the centre of Ikere.

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