Drama as 32-year-old Suspect Escapes with Handcuffs on Way to Court
There was confusion on Wednesday at Tinubu, Lagos Island, after a suspected vandal, Johnson Ede, jumped from a car conveying him and five others to a magistrates’ court in the area.
Ede and other suspects ─ Emmanuel Peters, 29; Idris Adamu, 27; Mohammed Ahmed, 37; Salisu Adamu, 33; and 23-year-old Odichi Ochechi ─ were arrested for allegedly vandalising water pipes on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island and for stealing 350 metres of 12mm cables owned by Hitec Construction Company Limited on December 28, 2015.
It was gathered that 32-year-old Ede escaped through the window of the moving car with a pair of handcuffs in his hand. Punch Metrolearnt that a woman corporal was taking Ede, whose name appeared as the first defendant on the charge sheet, and the five others to court when the incident happened.
Our correspondent gathered the officer was not assisted in chasing the fleeing suspect when she called for help from passersby.
When the other five suspects were subsequently arraigned before the court a few hours later, she narrated the incident to the presiding magistrate, Mr. L.A. Owolabi, who enquired about the whereabouts of Ede, whose name appeared on the charge sheet as the first defendant.
“The car was moving when he (Ede) jumped from the window and escaped with the handcuffs in his hands. I was shouting for help, but people did not respond. I decided to let him go so that the five others would not escape as well. We were almost at the court when he jumped down. I can’t explain how he managed to escape,” she said.
The remaining five suspects were arraigned on three counts bordering on vandalism and stealing by a police prosecutor, Inspector R.A. Odigie.
The charges read, “That you, Emmanuel Peters, Idris Adamu, Mohammed Ahmed, Salisu Adamu and Odihi Ochechi, and others now at large, on December 28, 2015, at about 3pm, on Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit: stealing and wilful damage.
“That you, and others now at large, on the same date, time and place, in the aforesaid magisterial district, did wilfully damage drainage pipes valued at N200,000, and water pipes valued at N100,000, property of Hitech Construction Company Limited, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 348 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.
“That you and others now at large on the same date, time and place did steal 350 metres of 12mmm cables, property of Hitech Construction Company Limited, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.”
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail by Owolabi, in the sum of N300,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
Owolabi added that the sureties must be gainfully employed, related to the defendants by blood and evidence of tax payments made to the state government to the prosecutor for verification.
The case was adjourned till February 29, 2016 for mention.