By Sunmola Olowookere
A 33-year-old man, Monday Samson is currently being tried before an Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure for being a member of a secret cult group, Eye confraternity and for having in his possession dangerous weapons and offensive charms.
The prosecuting counsel, Barr. Tunde Alarape, called the police investigative officer, Sergeant Abel Adeolu who told the court that after recording the statement of the accused person, he had gone ahead to conduct a search of his apartment where he discovered the dangerous and offensive weapons.
The items were listed to be dagger, hammer, cutlasses, knife, used gun cartridges, charmed broom, bead charm, three amulets, battle axe and a black regalia.
The prosecuting counsel had thereafter sought to tender them as evidences before the court and they were admitted as evidences and marked as exhibits by the court.
During cross examination, the Defense Counsel, Olabode Olanipekun confronted the police witness that he had already listed the said items in the statement he recorded from the accused person before the search at the defendant’s home where he purportedly recovered the weapons.
The witness explained to the court that he had conducted verbal interrogation during which the defendant had allegedly confessed to the possessions of the weapon and that the statement was only written after the items were recovered from his house.
The police witness also claimed that the defendant had confessed to have been initiated into the confraternity group when he was living in Ijebu Ode, Ogun state.
He explained that after the investigation, he had then charged the case to the Magistrates Court and that the case was then forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for legal advice before it was transferred to the High Court.
After the police witness testimony and cross examination, the prosecution had then closed its case while the defense had opened its case by calling the wife of the defendant, one Bolanle Samson to the witness stand.
She claimed that she had been cohabiting with the defendant for about four years and that they were always together whenever he returned home from the sea where he worked as sailor at the month’s end.
She further claimed that there was no search conducted at their home and no incriminating material recovered and said that her husband was not a member of any secret cult.
The defendant was also called to the witness stand and he also denied being a member of any secret cult group.
He claimed that he had been helping to supervise the workers at his brother’s site in Igbokoda when some group called the “palace guards” attacked and stopped the ongoing work and asked that he pay them a sum of 400,000 naira to obtain the kings’ receipt.
He said that he had refused to pay while explaining to them that the land was procured in 2012 before the current monarch was given a staff of office.
He claimed that the palace guards had attacked him at the site the next day while one of them hitted him on the head with a shovel. He subsequently showed a scar purportedly resulting from the wound to the court.
He said that during the melee, the workers had ran to the police to report the attack but that only one of the palace guards were arrested along with him, while he fled.
He however claimed that by evening, the palace guard was released on bail following a message from the palace and that some policemen had come from Akure and had whisked him along with some three guys in his cell who were arrested for cultism.
He explained that despite his protests and claims of innocence, he was whisked along with the three cult suspects down to Akure.
He reiterated that he did not belong to any secret cult, had no incriminating weapons or charms and had never been to Ijebu Ode in Ogun state.
During cross examination, the prosecuting counsel told him that he and his friends were members of a dreaded cult group that was creating problems for the people in the community and that he and the palace guards had always been at loggerheads in the community.
The judge had thereafter adjourned the case till November, 6, 2017 for adoption of written addresses.