Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Court remands Alfa for killing, sharing friend’s corpse

A Lagos State Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ebute-Meta has remanded an Islamic cleric, Fatai Afobaje, aka Alfa, in prison for allegedly killing his friend, Rafiu Sulaimon, and sharing his body parts.

The magistrate, A. O. Komolafe, said Afobaje should be remanded pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

PUNCH Metro had exclusively reported on February 20, 2015, that the suspect met the victim in a commercial bus a few years back after the latter did him a favour of paying his transport fare.

Afobaje was alleged to have cast a spell on the Kwara State indigene, making Sulaimon to always turn over his monthly salary to him.

Our correspondent reported that on the fateful Friday in February, the suspect called the victim in the night, saying he wanted to see him for an urgent meeting.

However, he was alleged to have connived with some of the security guards on his street, who stopped the 44-year-old on his way to Afobaje’s house and hit him with a charm. He was later killed by the men.

It was reported that Afobaje later emerged from his house and led the sharing of his friend’s body parts.

He was arrested a few days later when the police ransacked his residence and found some burnt fingers of the victim in a clay pot.

His body was later found in a swamp, with the head and other parts of the body gone.

The matter was later transferred from the Morogbo Police Division to the Department of Criminal Investigation, Yaba.

It was learnt that a security guard, identified as Tanko, who was implicated by the suspect, was later absolved and released.

Detectives at the DCI, in the course of investigations, were said to have recovered the head of the victim in the place where it was buried.

The police, in a remand application brought before the magistrate court on Tuesday, said Afobaje confessed to the crime.

He was also said to have been arrested with exhibits and identified by witnesses.

The police added that there was a need for further investigation as other accomplices were still at large.

Afobaje was arraigned on two counts of murder.

The charges read, “That you, Fatai Afobaje and others now at large on February 13, 2015, at about 1am at C32, Oko Agbonla, Irete Village, Magbon, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit: murder.

“That you, and others now at large, did unlawfully kill one Rafiu Sulaimon, aged 44 years, by cutting off his head and hands with a knife.”

The offence was said to be punishable under sections 231 and 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

His plea was not taken for the charges, just as no member of his family was in court.

The police prosecutor, ASP Elizabeth Ekuma, applied for the remand of the defendant in prison, pending legal advice.

She said, “The matter before the court involves murder and we have an application for the remand of the defendant in prison.”

The defence counsel, F. S. Oladele, however, asked the court to look into the case.

He cited Section 264 of the Administration of Criminal Justice, Law of Lagos State, which he said empowered the court to go into the circumstances that surrounded the arraignment.

But the magistrate shunned the defence counsel’s application.

He said, “Section 264 is not verbose; it is very clear. The defendant is ordered to be remanded in prison.”

The matter was adjourned till June 22, 2015.

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