Justice Mashood Abass of the Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Wednesday said the heavens would not fall if he released all the suspects arrested for the October 20, 2020 EndSARS protest in the state.
The judge, who frowned at the disposition of the Nigeria Police Force towards the case, queried why the police presented a sergeant to defend the case.
He adjourned the case till September 10 for further hearing of the case.
Earlier the judge blasted the Investigating Police Officer in charge of the case for not being able to recite the oath properly, saying it was one of the fundamentals police officers were tutored on at the police college.
SaharaReporters reports that those charged for the EndSARS protest in the state are; Adesina Ademuyiwa, Ikechukwu Eze, Ariyo Sodiq, Ikennan Amaechi, Oyewole Olumide, Ariyo Afeez, Taoreed Abiodun, Lowoori Ajadi, Sikiru Lukman, Adekunle Maroof, and Rasheed Tiamiyu.
It was learnt that when the poor performance of the IPO in charge of the case was noticed, the prosecutor of the case, a Deputy Director, Sandra Tella, appealed to the judge to give them some time to prepare the IPO for more evidences to be presented in court.
Justice Abass who obliged the demand said; "I can see the IPO is not composed. He is a Sergeant and he cannot recite the oath. What department was he working before the incident? He was attached to quick intervention unit. This issue is more sensitive and of national interest than appointing an incompetent officer.
"The department he was attached to is to go and intervene where there is crisis, not to prosecute. Why are you now coming as IPO for this case? Why not appoint DSP, SP or even a higher rank to handle this case? All the police bosses do is to be playing boss in the offices.
"IPO, this case starts and ends with you. If you have evidences against them, I can sentence them to death but if otherwise, heavens will not fall if I release them all. Nobody should think I will sentence them to death if you don't have evidence against them and nobody should think I will release them if you have enough evidence against them.
"I want to warn police that you cannot just pick people on the street and bring them here. You must be thorough in your investigations. I will allow you to go and do your rehearsal very well with the prosecutor. And I want to tell you that you should say the truth but if you lie against them, their blood will be upon you but if you say the truth, leave me and God."