Ekiti govt drops murder charges against APC leaders after five years of prosecution

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The government of Ekiti State has dropped the murder case against a former Chairman of All Progressives Congress(APC), Jide Awe, and others after five years of prosecution.

The Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kolapo Kolade, at the High court 7, Ado Ekiti, before Justice Bamidele Omotosho, on Wednesday filed an application for the withdrawal of the case against Mr. Awe and other suspects.

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He said the state was withdrawing the case in order to promote peace and brotherliness among the people of Erinjiyan Ekiti, which is the community where both the complainant and the defendants in the matter hailed from.

Mr. Kolade said the governor, Ayo Fayose, approved the withdrawal of the case in spite of political differences “because of his belief in posterity, peace and welfare of the people of the community.”

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The judge, Mr. Omotosho, while granting the request of withdrawal, said the court supported the withdrawal because it was to promote peace.

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The court then struck out the case against Mr. Awe and others standing trial on the murder of one Ayo Jeje and Julianah Adewumi at Erinjiyan in Ekiti West local government in 2013.

Mr. Jeje and Mrs. Adewumi were defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) when some hoodlums, allegedly loyal to Mr. Awe, invaded the venue and shot them.

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Mrs. Adewunmi was the mother of Segun Adewunmi, the current Deputy Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.

“What happened in court today is far beyond politics, the governor in his usual manner of promoting peace and brotherliness in all communities in Ekiti and across party lines has intervened,” Mr. Kolade stated while speaking to journalists after the court session.

“In this matter, so many good people across Nigeria, even the defendants in this matter, has appealed to his Excellency to intervene in this matter, particularly in Erijinran, more so as the defendants and complainant are of same family, the complainants have given the go ahead and said the matter should be withdrawn.

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“This development equally supports the cause of justice. One of the cardinal principles of justice is promotion of peace.

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“The major beneficiary is Chief Jide Awe, the APC chairman in Ekiti State. He, alongside his aide and other party members were alleged to have murdered late Madam Juliana Adewunmi, mother of the Deputy Speaker, Ekiti State and Murphy Jeje, a member of the PDP in 2013.

“The complainant is the Deputy Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.”

Defense counsel, Ibrahim Olanrewaju, while reacting to the withdrawal, said reason had prevailed.

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He praised the Attorney General for coming himself to court to withdraw the charge, noting that the withdrawal left the court with no other option but to discharge and acquit the defendants.

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“We are not saying that somebody was not killed or murdered, but we all know that it is more of political fight than looking for justice,” he said.

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“Taking from the words of the attorney general himself, he said that they are trying to allow peace to reign in the community and to promote good neighbourliness and we support it.

“The defendants have no business to be charged. But we salute the state for doing this, we salute the courage of the attorney general for the bold step and we salute the courage of our lord Justice Omotoso for discharging and also acquitting the defendants. He could have just discharged without acquitting them.”

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