From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Five students of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta were on Friday arraigned before a Magistrate Court, in the Ogun ctate capital, for unlawful possession of firearms belonging to a prohibited secret cult.
The accused persons are Olawale Olaniyi, Adeyemi Azeez, Olufalo Bidemi, Osilaja Hammed and Bashorun Sodiq. They are facing a three-count charge, which ranged from conspiracy, unlawful possession of firearms and belonging to a secret cult.
The charge read that the accused, on August 5, 2013 at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokut,a in the Abeokuta Magisterial District belonged to a group called Black Axe, a secret cult society, contrary to Section 3 and punishable under Section 5 of the Secret Cult (Prohibition and Special Prohibition) Laws of Ogun state, 2006.
The accused persons were also alleged to be unlawfully in possession a locally-made gun, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3 of the Firearms Act (Cap 28) Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.
The arraignment of the accused was based on the legal advice of the Director of Public Prosecution in a letter with reference number AB11/S.9631A/12 dated July 21, 2014, which recommended the trial.
When the charge was read to the accused, they pleaded not guilty.
Two counsels, Bolarinwa Odeyale and B.O Sa’idu appeared for the accused.
Odeyale pleaded for renewal of the bail earlier granted the accused before their case file was sent to the DPP but the court noted that it could only be granted if a new application was filed or the sureties came forward to update the bail application for the benefits of the accused.
Odeyale was able to perfect his argument and prayers in favour of three of the accused; Olawale Olaniyi, Olufalo Bidemi and Bashorun Sodiq, who were granted bail.
Two others, Adeyemi Azeez and Osilaja were ordered to be remanded in prison for their inability to meet the bail conditions.
The case was adjourned till February 19, 2015.