BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
There was a mild drama within the premises of the Osun State Judiciary Complex which houses both the Magistrate and the State High courts in Osogbo, on July 4, 2022 as a suspect, Sodiq Ayinde, bolted out of the courtroom and disappeared into the blues after being arraigned.
Some personnel from the Dugbe Police Division in Osogbo brought Ayinde, aged 25, before the court over allegations of stealing of a phone and damaging the victim’s SIM cards.
Police prosecutor, Inspector Kayode Adeoye, had informed the court that Ayinde, on June 8, 2022 at about 11:30pm at Sabo area, Osogbo, did steal one blue Infinix Note handset valued at N68, 000, property of one Alhaji Sani Muhammed.
Kayode accused the defendant of willfully and maliciously damaging two Airtel and MTN SIM cards belonging to Muhammed.
Ayinde was said to have run afoul of Section 383, punishable under sections 390(9) and 451 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume II Laws of Osun, 2002.
The defendant, who had no legal representation, had pleaded not guilty to the two-count-charge of theft and damage slammed against him.
Kayode told the court that Ayinde stole the phone and damaged the SIM cards in order to evade being tracked. However, he was eventually arrested about a month after committing the crime.
Magistrate A.O. Daramola had ordered that the defendant be remanded in Ilesa Correctional Centre and adjourned the case till September 12 for judgement.
Ayinde ran out of court and disappeared into the blues as the Investigative Police Officer keeping an eye on him was busy studying the case file of a fresh matter that was mentioned in court after his own case had been adjourned.
It was gathered that the defendant noticed that the police officers in court were not paying attention to him at the moment.
A court official informed our correspondent that the pregnant police woman and the other male IPO left the suspect without putting handcuffs on him.
“After his matter was adjourned, there was a heavy rain and having discovered that the male IPO was outside the courtroom talking with people and the other, a pregnant police woman, had lost attention on him, the suspect removed his slippers, rolled up his ‘Jalamiya dress’ and ran away as it was raining.
“Some of the police officers around the court chased him but they could not get him as he ran into a nearby bush at the back of the court and possibly scaled the fence. The IPOs were dumbfounded and blamed themselves for not putting a handcuff on the suspect.
“The dramatic part of this was that when some people who chased him were shouting “ole” (thief), the suspect was also screaming” thief” while he was running away. I think he did this in order to divert the attention of the people,” the court official who craved anonymity said.