A resident of Pampo village in the Afon area of Kwara State, Suleiman Muritala, has been killed by a gang of hoodlums, led by one Muri Ogbena.
It was learnt that Ogbena, a youth group chairman, and 20 other thugs, armed with cutlasses and sticks, stormed Muritala’s house to ask for a sum of N50 said to be the village due.
An altercation reportedly ensued when the victim declined to pay the due.
Our correspondent learnt that the argument degenerated into a scuffle and the gang descended on the deceased with the weapons.
PUNCH Metro gathered that they left him in a pool of blood and fled the community after the incident, which happened around 9.30pm on March 15.
It was also learnt that the miscreants had acted on the order of a leader of the community, identified as Kareem Magaji.
The attack was said to have been reported at the Afon Police Division the following day by a resident.
PUNCH Metro gathered that 65-year-old Magaji and one Jimoh Ajao, 75, were later arrested by a police team, led by one Inspector Jubrin Mamud, while the case was transferred to the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Ilorin.
They were arraigned before a magistrate’s court in Ilorin for criminal conspiracy, breach of public peace and homicide.
The charges, according to the police, contravene sections 97, 114 and 224 of the Penal Code.
The charges read in part, “That, on March 16,2015, at about 10.20am, one Suleiman Sikiru of Pampo Village led some youths numbering 20, on the instruction of one Kareem Magaji, to one Suleiman Muritala’s house with bamboo sticks and cutlasses to collect a N50 due from him. Police investigation revealed that as a result of argument, fight ensued between the youths and Suleiman Muritala, where you, Kareem Magaji and Jimoh Ajao criminally conspired with others now at large and beat him with sticks and other weapons which led to his untimely death. You thereby committed criminal conspiracy, inciting disturbance and culpable homicide.”
The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The magistrate, Mr. A. Bello, granted bail to the defendants in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties each in like sum. He added that the sureties must be related to the accused by blood.
Our correspondent gathered that the defendants had been released after their bail conditions were perfected by their relatives.
The case was adjourned till April 15, 2015 for mention.