Magistrate A.F.O. Botoku of the magistrate court in Ebute Metta, Lagos State today denied bail to a police officer, Museliu Aremu, accused of killing a nursing mother in a tricycle while seeking bribes from commuters at the Idimu area of Lagos State.
The police officer is also accused of shooting at the late woman's husband’s jaw and shoulder. His bullets barely missed the couple’s 1-month old baby, cuddled in his mother’s hands when the officer shot her dead.
Magistrate Botoku ordered that Mr. Aremu be remanded at Ikoyi Prison pending a determination by the Directorate of Public Prosecution about the suspect’s trial for the murder of Idongesit Comfort Udoh.
The police officer’s lawyer had not only asked for bail but also an order barring activists and the victims’ sympathizers from attending court sessions and agitating.
Mr. Aremu’s lawyer argued that bail was provided for in law to enable defendants to submit themselves voluntarily for trial. However, Magistrate Botoku said her court lacked jurisdiction to grant the application as it was not hearing the substantive suit, but only deciding on custody of the alleged culprit.
The magistrate extended remand of the police officer by one month, with the expectation that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would have made its determination about the suspect’s prosecution.
The magistrate also dismissed the defense counsel’s petition to stop protesting relatives and activists from attending the court sessions. The magistrate ruled that the protesters, led by female activist Joe Okei-Odumakin, have the constitutional right to demonstrate for justice as long as they conducted themselves peacefully.