Four men allegedly involved in the kidnap of the Oniba of Iba community in Lagos State, Oba Goriola Oseni, were on Tuesday arraigned before a Lagos State Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ikeja.
It would be recalled that the arrested suspects, Furejo Duba, Ododomo Isaiah, Reuben Anthony and Yerin Fresh, were among the suspected thirteen kidnappers of the Oniba of Iba, who was kidnapped from his palace on July 16 and freed on August 7.
The kidnappers had asked the Oba’s family members to pay a N500-million ransom after almost a week of the kidnap incident, and upon their arrest, they confessed to having received a N15.1million ransom in two batches.
The suspects were arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Mrs. B.O. Osunsanmi, with conspiracy, murder and armed robbery.
While Duba pleaded guilty to the charges, Fresh and Anthony claimed they were innocent.
According to them, they only asked one of their friends for help and they were given N100, 000.
Speaking before the Magistrate, Duba, said he was among the gang members who kidnapped the monarch, adding that there were nine members left.
He said “I am an Ijaw am and I am guilty, but there are nine other members of the gang who are yet to be arrested. We were given N1.2m as ransom.”
On his part, Anthony said, “We know nothing about the kidnapping, we called our friend for help in other to pay our children school fees and we were given the sum of N100,000 each.”
Applying for the remand of the defendants, the Head of Legal Department of Lagos State Police Command, Mr. Eno-Edor-Aidenojia, pleaded that the suspects should be kept in prison custody pending formal filing at the high court.
Aidenojia said, “These four men were part of those who kidnapped the Oniba of Iba on July 16. His palace was invaded and two persons were killed. We have concluded the investigation and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, DPP, has gone through the file and they have recommended that they be charged with conspiracy, murder, armed robbery and kidnapping.
“We are here today to formally arraign them so that we can have them lawfully detained in prison custody pending when they will be charged at the state high court, which will be soonest,” Aidenojia noted.
Osunsanmi ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody without option of bail.
She adjourned the matter till November 10, 2016, for further hearing.