From the Court

Cleric lands in court over alleged child theft


An Ajegunle Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos on Wednesday remanded a 35-year-old cleric, Olatunji Kamurideen, over alleged theft of a 13-month-old baby.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs O.M. Ajayi, refused to grant the defendant bail and ordered that he should be kept in the Kirikiri Prisons.
The magistrate directed that the case file should be sent to the state director of public prosecutions for advice.
She adjourned the case until Sept. 19 for mention.
The defendant, who resides on Fashuniro Street, Mazamaza, near Satellite Town, Lagos, is facing a count charge of child stealing.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp. Augustine Ejembi said that the cleric committed the offence on April 24.
Ejembi alleged that the defendant stole the baby boy on Bester Street in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
He told the court that the defendant claimed that the baby belonged to him because his mother dumped him (defendant) and married another man with pregnancy.
The prosecutor said that the child’s father, identified simply as Mr Ajayi, reported to the police that the defendant came to his house without his consent and took his wife and baby to an unknown destination.
“He kept them for four months and later released Mrs Ajayi but kept the baby, claiming to be the father.
“Mrs Ajayi said she met the defendant through her elder brother when she had a serious infection in 2017.
“She was on treatment with the defendant who gave her a black substance to drink, and she became hypnotised.
“He raped her and threatened she would die if she told anyone.
“She said it was after that incident she met Mr Ajayi and married him in a traditional way,” the prosecutor said.
The alleged offence contravened Section 277 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The section states: “Any person who with intent to deprive any parent, guardian or other people who has the lawful care or charge of a child under the age of 12, of the possession of such child, with the intent to steal, is liable on conviction to imprisonment for 14 years.”

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