The Chief Imam of Ese-Odo , Alhaji Akerele Abdulateef has sent a ” save our soul ” SOS message to the Ondo State government and the State Police Command over threat to his life and two others persons , Teimobomi Tafabofa and Boubini Oweitongu residing in Arogbo Ijaw.

Alhaji Abdulateef explained that their trouble started on April 21, 2013 when some persons protesting the death of one Brain Owei who was involved in a Chieftaincy tussle burnt and destroyed the Imam’s property and those of Teimobomi Tafabofa and Boubini Oweitongu.

The case was later taken to court and the suspects – Akins Tiewei , Love Sofiyegha, Gbefayefa Batife, Towei Kowei, Fiyesinkuomo Ojogo ,
Firikoriwei Agitan and Oni Adams were arraigned at the magistrate court in Igbekebo before Magistrate D.O Ogunfuyi on December 23 , 2014 on a 17-count charge that bothered on conspiracy , arson , wilful and unlawful destruction of dwelling houses , attempt to kill, assault and stealing.

The court later found them culpable and sentenced them on July 20 ,2017 on seven out of the 17 count charge for which they were tried with an option of fine for each , the court also ordered them to pay compensation sums to the victims of the April 21 , 2013 attack.

The judgement reads in part ” provided that whereby the defendants fail to restore the aforementioned , each of them shall be liable to imprisonment for five years with hard labour ”

After the initial conviction at the Igbekebo magistrate court , the convicts sought bail pending appeal which was granted .

Early this year , the convicted person’s finally filed their appeal before the Ondo State high court , Okitipupa division , having examined the case , Justice D.I Kolawole on October 19 , 2022 affirmed the judgement of the Igbekebo magistrate court stating that ” the appeal is without merit and it fails completely meaning the five year jail term pronounced on the men still stands .

In a strange twist however , rather than the concerned authorities to implement the court judgement against the convicts, there were allegations that they were left moving freely in Arogbo
community and even working in public offices engaging in many other social functions.

Speaking on the current development , Imam Abdulateef who is one of the victims of the arsonists pointed out that it was unsual seeing convicts who were supposed to be serving their punishment were moving freely on the streets .

” the convicts who were supposed to be serving their 5 year jail term as affirmed by the high court of Okitipupa were moving freely in Arogbo Ijaw community , though they were given option of fine and also to pay for damages , none of these was met ” Imam Abdulateef claimed

Alhaji Abdulateef therefore called on appropriate authorities to as a matter of urgency justify the
court ruling and implement the court verdict against the convicts.

He said their continued stay within the public space was a threat to the peace in the society warning authorities where they work to keep a distance from them .#

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