A Chief Magistrate Court in the Yaba area of Lagos has ordered the 30-day remand of a dismissed police sergeant, Samuel Phillips, pending the legal advice of the State’s Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Sergeant Philips, who has been dismissed from the police force following the conclusion of his orderly room trial, was brought before Chief Magistrate Adeola Adedayo, yesterday, on a one-count charge of the alleged murder of an 18-year old lady, Monsurat Ojuade.
Ojuade was said to have been hit by a stray bullet on Saturday, September 11, this year, while the police were on a criminal raid in Ijeshatedo area of Lagos. She died on her way to the hospital.
The one-count charge said that Philips at11.30pm at 53, Mogaji Street Ijeshatedo, unlawfully released gunshots into the building, which hit Ojuade on her two thighs and led to her death.
At the brief proceedings, the magistrate granted the application made by the prosecutor for the remand of the defendant for 30 days pending the advice of the Directorate of Public Prosecution.
This is because the magistrate court lacks the jurisdiction to hear a murder charge and the DPP is to recommend that the murder trial be conducted at the State High Court. Further hearings were adjourned to October 25.
After the proceedings, Counsel to the Ojuade family, Israel Mbaebie, asked the police to change its “stray bullet” narrative as to how the deceased died.
He said: “The bullet that killed Monsurat Ojuade was not a stray bullet but a case of premeditated murder on the part of the killer police.”
The lawyer also frowned at the failure of the police to make public the findings of its orderly room trial.
“Our clients frown at this disrespectful and lackadaisical attitude of the police and also wonder how it has been easier for them to organise an orderly room trial of the so-called killer police without making public their findings till date and now, arraignment without making public the full identity of the culprit as earlier demanded by our clients,” he added.