BY KAYODE ANIMASAUN
As court rules in the trial of the founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel on Tuesday, controversies have trailed a letter written by the Ondo state government Attorney General and the commissioner for justice , Adekola Olawoye,(SAN).
asking the Police to halt ongoing investigation on the missing child, Gold Kolawole.
POSITIVE FM gathered that the inspector general of police has also ordered the intelligence response team at the Force Headquarters to stop the investigation of the missing child following a letter written by Mr Olawoye
A copy of the letter was presented to the court during the last sitting, at the Ondo state high court, where prophet Alfa Babatunde and six others are being tried over the missing boy.
Prophet Babatunde and his co-defendants are standing trial on a three counts including conspiracy to aid and abet kidnapping, kidnapping and destroying evidence.
POSITIVE FM gathered that on the 14th of September 2020 when counsels to the defendants and that of prosecution led by the Ondo state attorney general, Adekola Olawoye ,SAN appeared before Justice Olusegun Odusola for the adoption of addresses , the letter was tendered ‘off record’ written by the attorney general and addressed to the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters in Abuja.
A copy of the letter was exclusively obtained by POSITIVE FM
In the letter dated 29/ July 2020, signed by the Ondo state attorney General and received by the inspector general of police on 07/ August / 2020 states that
“ ATTENTION: STATION OFFICER, INTELLIGENCE RESPONSE TEAM
CHARGE NUMBER: AK /1c / 2020 BETWEEN THE STATE Vs PROPHET ALFA BABATUNDE & 6 OTHERS
Please be informed that the above name charge is presently pending before the high court of Ondo state.
To this end, it is advised that no action can be taken in respect thereof until judgement is delivered.”
POSITIVE FM gathered that the revelation led to serious arguments between the counsels and raised a dust on why the attorney general wrote such a letter when it was a criminal case and that the major interest of parties involved is to unearth the mystery behind the missing child.
Speaking with POSITIVE FM Counsel to the fifth and sixth defendants in the case, Akinyemi Omoware confirmed that it was true the attorney general wrote the letter .
He said “There is no dispute about the fact that the attorney General (AG) wrote a letter ,requesting the police who are investigating the whereabouts of the missing child to stop the investigation by the police.
We brought it to the notice of the court off record because as at that time, the trial had concluded awaiting the counsels to adopt their written addresses.
So the document can not legally form part of the record of the court .we only brought to the notice of the court for the court to know that investigation about the whereabouts of the missing child is still ongoing and that a letter came from the state, requesting the investigation to be stopped.
We feel we should do that, as good citizens of the country, with the fact that we also want either dead or alive, the baby and for us to find out who is responsible as well as the whereabouts of Gold Kolawole.
We also feel that the letter ought not to have been written so that the police can conclude their investigation and issue a report whether it is true that the baby is still alive or not and who and who is responsible.
The AG did informed the court that he wrote that letter in honest belief that he does not want the trial to be sub judice but unfortunately, there is no way continuation of investigation can subjudice a criminal case.
The doctrine of Subjudice does not apply to criminal trial. It is a principle of law that is only applicable to a civil trial. His intention might be good but it is not appropriate in criminal trial. ”
In a reaction, the attorney General
Adekola Olawoye,(SAN) said the letter written did not in anyway stop the police to continue investigation over the missing child.
Olawoye said the matter is subjudice and that criminal trial does not abate.
He said “ There was a letter that was argued upon at the court in that case and those people who claimed they saw the letter did not bring it to court.
The matter is subjudice that the matter is before a competent court and have not said they should stop the investigation. When a matter is before a court , all other matters will have to wait.
Criminal allegation does not abate. It continues for life. It doesn’t have time bound .
If anybody is now mischievous and reading meaning to that letter, I don’t think that letter is telling the police not to investigate .
The dimension there is that they said they have found the missing boy somewhere in Abuja and if they have found him, what is the next thing ? They should have presented the boy.
Does the letter obscure investigation
? Does it say the police should not go further with their investigation ?
I wrote a letter but I didn’t say they should not investigate the matter.
Mind you ,everything is now being investigated by the DSS and when it became a drama , the court order that the DSS should come into it.
The DSS have invited me and I have explained my own . Let the other side go there and explain too.”
Speaking with POSITIVE FM, the Deputy Force Public Relations Officers, Mr Aremu Adeniran said the police would not want to comment on the matter because it is before the court.
Adeniran said “the fact is that police can not react because the case is in court. ”