A commercial tricycle rider, Akeem Adeoye, has been arraigned before an Ebute Meta Magistrate’s Court for allegedly killing a retired customs officer, Nurudeen Yekini, 50, after pushing him into the path of a speeding truck.
It was learnt that the victim was on his way to collect his pension after 35 years in service when his vehicle had an accident with the tricycle, popularly called Keke NAPEP, at Marwa Road, Ijegun area of Lagos.
The late Yekini reportedly had an argument with the tricycle rider, and as exchange became heated, the latter pushed him into the path of a speeding truck, which crushed him to death.
The police prosecutor, Inspector George Nwosu, said the offence was punishable under Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.
Nwosu further applied for the remand of Adeoye in prison in line with Section 264 of the Administration of Criminal Justice, Lagos State, pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
However, the defence counsel, Spurgeon Ataene, opposed the remand application, insisting that the magistrate, Mr. Tunbosun Abolarinwa, conduct a preliminary enquiry into the matter.
Ataene said, “My Lord, I want you to exercise your discretionary power and hear the facts of this case to determine if indeed the act was premeditated or not. This is not a case of murder as the police are claiming.”
Abolarinwa thereafter called the Investigating Police Officer, Inspector James Adetoye, to give the facts of the case to enable the court take an appropriate decision.
Adetoye said, “The incident happened on January 20, 2014, around 10am. The vehicle of the deceased was involved in an accident with a Keke NAPEP belonging to the defendant.
“They had an argument. It was in the process of this that the deceased drew out his belt to hit the defendant. In self defence, the defendant pushed him and he fell into the path of a moving truck. He was crushed to death.”
The magistrate after hearing from the IPO said, “From the examination of the police prosecutor and the IPO through preliminary enquiry by this honourable court, it is discovered that the incident was accidental. It happened after an accident involving their vehicles.
“The IPO said it was at the point the deceased wanted to hit the defendant with a belt that he pushed him in self defence. Are we saying that he was the one that put the truck in motion? Or was he the one that caused it to hit him? Did he know the driver of the truck as to agree with him to kill the deceased? The answer is obviously no. The conclusion of this honourable court is that this case does not qualify for a capital offence. In line with Section 264(5) which says that the magistrate court can grant bail in a case of manslaughter, the application of the police prosecutor is hereby denied, while that of the defendant’s learned counsel is upheld.
“The defendant is granted bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum. The case is hereby adjourned till March 13, 2014.”
Meanwhile, the driver of the truck which killed the late retired customs officer was also arraigned for manslaughter.
The 50-year-old driver, Nurudeen Yekini, was also admitted to bail in same conditions as Adeoye, while the matter was adjourned till the same date.