Pandemonium broke out yesterday, Wednesday at Tinubu, Lagos Island, after a certain Johnson Ede, suspected of vandalism, jumped out from a moving vehicle conveying him and five others to the magistrates’ court in the area.
Johnson Ede alongside other suspects Emmanuel Peters, 29; Idris Adamu, 27; Mohammed Ahmed, 37; Salisu Adamu, 33; and 23-year-old Odichi Ochechi were arrested and were being arraigned for allegedly vandalizing water pipes on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island and for stealing 350 meters of 12mm cables owned by Hitec Construction Company Limited on December 28, 2015.
A female police officer was tasked with the responsibility of taking him and the five others to court when the incident happened. Apparently the 32-year-old Ede was in no mood to stand in front of a judge, and thus decided to escape through the window of the moving motor with a pair of handcuffs in his hand.
Correspondents gathered that the police officer got no assistance from passersby while pursuing the fleeing suspect, even when she expressly called for help in chasing the man.
When the others were later arraigned before the presiding magistrate, Mr. L.A. Owolabi, who enquired about the whereabouts of the escaped suspect, the Police officer narrated to him that Ede, whose name appeared on the charge sheet as the first defendant, broke out from the window while making his getaway. In her words;
“The car was moving when he (Ede) jumped from the window and escaped with the handcuffs in his hands. I was shouting for help, but people did not respond. I decided to let him go so that the five others would not escape as well. We were almost at the court when he jumped down. I can’t explain how he managed to escape,” she said.
The remaining five suspects were arraigned on three counts bordering on vandalism and stealing by a police prosecutor, Inspector R.A. Odigie.
The charges read, “That you, Emmanuel Peters, Idris Adamu, Mohammed Ahmed, Salisu Adamu and Odihi Ochechi, and others now at large, on December 28, 2015, at about 3pm, on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit: stealing and willful damage...”
The accused, after the full charges were read, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and were admitted to bail by Mr. Owolabi, in the sum of N300,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
The Magistrate added that the sureties must be gainfully employed, related to the defendants by blood and evidence of tax payments made to the state government to the prosecutor for verification.
The case was adjourned till February 29, 2016 for mention.