Court issues bench warrant for arrest of Kwara chief

Date: 2017-01-10

A complainant, 80-year old Iyalaje of Offa, Chief Adijat Adebiyi, had accused Olabooye of assaulting her at the palace of the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mufutau Gbadamosi.

Adebiyi, through her counsel, Chief Rapheal Ashaolu, had informed the court that she and some family members had gone to the palace to honour an invitation from Gbadamosi on December 20, 2016.

She stated that on arrival at the palace at about 11am, she decided to pay a courtesy call to the Chief of Staff to the Olofa of Offa, Alhaji Tunji Oyawoye.

She added that at the entrance of Oyawoye's office, she noticed that somebody was behind her, who turned out to be Olabooye.

Adebiyi stated that as she entered into Oyawoye's office, Olabooye rushed in, grabbed her, rained blows and battered her to the floor, shouting that he would terminate her life.

The complainant added that it took the efforts of Oyawoye and visitors in his office to rescue her from the grasp of Olabooye.

She further told the court that she was later taken to the General Hospital Offa, where she was treated and discharged.

When the matter first came up in the court on December 23, 2016, Olabooye was not in the court.

Also on Monday, the accused was neither in court, nor was his counsel present. But a letter was sent to the court from the chamber of R.O. Balogun & Co.

The letter, dated January 5, 2017, signed by one I.T. Balogun, and addressed to the registrar of the court, stated that Balogun was representing Olabooye.

Balogun said the defence filled a notice of preliminary objection on December 22, 2016, to challenge the jurisdiction of the court, adding that same was served on the complainant.

The letter, which was sighted by our correspondent, read, "The matter is adjourned till January 9, 2017, for the hearing of the defendant/objector's notice of preliminary objection. However, we were served with the counter affidavit on January 5, 2017, at about 2.45pm.

"Going by the deposition contained in the counter affidavit, there is a need for the defendant/objector to file a further affidavit to debunk some of the depositions contained in the counter affidavit of the complainant.

"In the light of the above, we therefore pray for an adjournment till January 23 for the hearing of the preliminary objection and before then, we would have filed and served our further affidavit. Kindly draw the attention of the court to this letter and we sincerely apologise for the inconveniences this application will cause the court and the learned counsel for the complainant."

But Ashaolu disagreed with the reason given by the chamber and urged the court to issue a bench warrant for Olabooye’s arrest, saying the accused was disdainful of the court by his non-appearance before the court during the two days of the court's sitting on the matter.

The chief magistrate also disagreed with the reason adduced for the adjournment and issued a bench warrant for Olabooye's arrest. Ajide subsequently adjourned the case till February 13 for mention.


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