From Omale Adama Lokoja
Six women were yesterday arraigned before a Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court, in Kogi state, over their alleged involvement in the kidnap of two children of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Momoh-Jimoh Lawal last month.
The women were charged with criminal conspiracy and kidnapping, contrary to section 97 of the Penal Code Law and sections 3(a) and 7(a) of Kogi state Kidnapping, Thuggery and other Related Offences (Prohibition) Law 2010.
The prosecution, led by Mohammed Abaji Esq., Senior Legal Officer with the state Ministry of Justice, filed an application for the court to take cognizance of the offences under section 143(c) and (d) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).
Abaji said that a gang of four unidentified men, armed with sophisticated weapons, invaded the residence of the Speaker on April 15 and kidnapped two of his sons, three year-old Hafiz Lawal and Ogirima Lawal, six years.
The abductors, he said, had forcefully taken the children away in their mother’s car, a dark-blue Toyota Yaris, with registration number: Lagos AKD 224 AY.
Abaji further explained that the kidnappers demanded ransom of N200 million for the release of the children using the handset and phone number of the first accused, Mrs. Bilkisu Wahab.
He said that investigation led to the arrest of the rest suspects with others still at large, adding that investigation was on-going as the two children were still in the custody of some of the accused persons.
The other accused are Raliat Musa, Rabiyat Mohammed, Zainab Isma’ila, Aminat Ibrahim and Nafisat Abdullahi.
Miss Safiya Abdullahi, lead counsel to the accused, orally applied for bail of her clients but Abaji prayed the court to take cognizance of the offence as he objected to granting of bail.
The Chief Magistrate Alhassan Hussain, in his ruling, said, “These offences are by no means weighty, pandemic and on a steady rise, of late. I find this application unmeritorious and it is hereby refused.”
Hussain therefore, ordered that all the accused be remanded in the State Security Service (SSS) detention facility in Lokoja, and adjourned the case to June 4, for further mention.