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Lagosian spends 4 years in prison before going to court for a crime he denies

When the charge was eventually interpreted to him in his Yoruba dialect, he denied possessing firearms, saying he was framed.

He claimed he was framed [People's Gazette]

Wasiu is facing a count of possession of firearms preferred against him by the Lagos State Government. According to the prosecution counsel, Tola Anyabisi, Wasiu was found in possession of a locally made pistol, AK47 rifle and four live cartridges.

Anyabisi said the firearms found on the defendant were in circumstances reasonably indicating that Wasiu’s possession of the gun was with the intent to allegedly commit armed robbery.

She said that the defendant committed the alleged offence, with one other who is at large.

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The prosecutor told the court that the incident took place between October 20 and 21, 2020, at about 2 pm, in Suru Alaba and Mile 2 Garage areas of Lagos.

She argued that the offence committed contravened Section 298 (3) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015.

However, it seemed the defendant didn’t understand why he was brought to court. When the charge was read to him, he said he understood but when asked whether he was guilty or not, he didn’t know how to respond until his counsel, Adesina Ogunlana, told the court that the charge should be interpreted to him in Yoruba as he doesn’t understand English.

Ogunlana said, “Just before the case was called for his arraignment, I spoke with him and he didn’t even understand Yoruba very well until his mates now interpreted it to him in the same Yoruba.

“I asked him how many times he had been brought to court, he didn’t understand what I said. He has been in detention for four years in the wake of #EndSARS.”

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Consequently, Justice Adesanya asked that the charge be interpreted to him in the Yoruba language. When this was done, he quickly responded in Yoruba that the AK47 rifle and the four cartridges were found on one Richard Ejiofor but he was being framed for it.

“Richard Ejiofor was the one that they got all these things from but they now framed it on me,” the defendant was quoted as saying.

Justice Adesanya then asked him if his plea in essence was not guilty, and he said, “Yes,” that he was not guilty.

The case was adjourned to June 24, and Tuesday, June 25, for the commencement of trial.

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