Tenants receive death threat from herbalist, tackles landlord

dff idowu owohunwa
dff idowu owohunwa

The Lagos State Police Command has arraigned a landlord, Okechukwu Chukwunahi, over what it described as ‘trial by ordeal’ after his tenants reported that he took their names to a shrine following a misunderstanding at their residence in the state.

Chukwunahi, 44, who is facing two-count bordering on conspiracy and trial by ordeal, was arraigned before an Ojo Magistrate’s Court in the state.

The prosecution counsel, Dr Simon Uche, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on February 21, 2023, at Ira Quatres, Ojo, Lagos.

He said following a misunderstanding with his tenants, the defendant resorted to taking their names to the shrine of a deity known as ‘Arusi Okija’.

The prosecutor said the complainants, Onyeka Ibeabuchi and Chimezie Ezeuka, who were Chukwunahi’s tenants, received a call from the herbalist of the shrine, who invited them to appear in person before February 27, or risk death.

The prosecutor said the defendant had initially referred the matter for mediation and later to a court in Badagry but feeling unsatisfied, resorted to illegal means of trial by ordeal at the shrine.

According to him, the offence committed contravened the provisions of Sections 127 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Magistrate L.J.K Layeni granted the defendant bail in the sum of N300,000 with two sureties in like sum.

He adjourned the case until Mach 20.

However, Justice Oshodi adjourned the matter till March 6 and 7, 2023, for trial and also ordered that the defendants be remanded at a correctional facility.

At the resumed trial on Tuesday, the fourth defendant, Uduebor, opted to change his plea.

He was then re-arraigned on an amended charge of conspiracy, and possession of the forged document.

The offence according to the prosecution contravened section 318 (3) of the criminal laws of Lagos State 2015.

While reviewing the facts of the case, an EFCC investigator stated that during the investigation, he discovered 10 Fidelity Bank drafts of N10m each amounting to N100m with the convict.

The witness said he was told that the drafts did not emanate from the bank.

The prosecuting counsel, Daji, thereafter urged the court to sentence the convict according to the charge.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Oshodi said, “I found the fourth defendant guilty as charged.”

The convict pleaded for mercy just as his lawyer also urged the court to give him a second chance as a first-time offender.

Justice Oshodi, after listening to the allocutus of the convict and his lawyer, held, “You are hereby sentenced to one-year imprisonment to commence on November 10, 2022, and an option of N1m fine, to be paid to the court registry of the Lagos State Judiciary.”