Murder: Ekiti Court Orders Reopening Of APC Chairman, Four Others’ Trial

An Ado Ekiti Magistrate Court on Wednesday, 17th December, 2014, vacated its order discharging and acquitting the state chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Jide Awe and four others over the murder of Mr Ayo Murphy Jeje and Madam Julianah Adewumi in Erijinyan Ekiti.

The ruling followed a motion exparte by counsel to Ekiti Government, Mr Bunmi Olugbade, seeking another order of the court to reverse its earlier decision discharging and acquitting the accused persons.

In the ruling, Chief Magistrate Adesoji Adegboye said having taken a second look at the extant laws, relevant authorities and facts of the case, he vacated the order earlier granted.

In the motion exparte, counsel to the Ekiti state govt, submitted that the magistrate erred in law to have granted the accused persons in the instance case.

Olugbade argued that it was an established principle of Law that Magistrate Courts lack jurisdiction to try criminal cases with capital punishment such as murder, hence the court could not entertain the matter, let alone discharging accused persons.

The counsel also contended that by the provision of Section 71 sub 1 and 3 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, Ekiti state, the state Attorney General is empowered to reopen such criminal case suspended through a notice of discontinuance.

The Chief Magistrate had on 12th February, 2014 discharged and acquitted the APC state chairman and four others consequent upon a motion of discontinuance filled by the then Attorney General, Wole Fapounda.

Jide Awe and four other members of the APC are wanted by the police for their alleged involvement in the murder of Ayo Jeje and Juliana Adewumi in Erinjiyan-Ekiti, Ekiti State on 31st March, 2013.

Apart from Awe, others wanted by the police are: Faboro Ojo John, Aniramu Basiru, Falayi Busuyi and Owonifari Sefiu.

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