Stories by Kayode Adeoti
For allegedly trading human placenta for rituals, an Islamic cleric, Ibrahim Salahudeen and one hospital attendant, Suleiman Fatima were ordered to be remanded in Federal Prison yard by a magistrate court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.
The matter was brought before Magistrate Muhammed Ndakene and the accused persons were charged for conspiracy to commit the offence of buying, selling or trafficking in human parts and possession of human parts for use as juju contrary to section 9, 1 and 2 of the Kwara State prohibition of dealing in human parts law No. 4 of 2018.
The Police First Information Report (FIR) stressed that the matter was reported to the ‘B’ Divisional Police Headquarters, Ilorin by one Dr. Jamiu Mohammed of Capstone Hospital, Taiwo Road Area in the state capital.
The FIR stated that the matter was later transferred to the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID), Ilorin branch for discreet information.
Dr Mohammed, according to the Police report, performed Caesarean section on a patient, one Mrs Jimoh Bashirat of Ona Ara, Gaa Akanbi, Ilorin who was referred to his hospital, from General Hospital Ilorin.
FIR stressed that after the successful operation, Dr Mohammed handed over the placenta of the new born baby to the accused (Fatima) with the instruction to give same to the biological father of the baby, Jimoh Abdulfatai.
The accused was said to have flouted his principal’s order but kept the placenta in an undisclosed place.
Investigation conducted by the CIID revealed that Fatima later gave the placenta to the cleric, Ibrahim of Agaka Area, Ilorin for yet to be disclosed amount for charm.
Fatima was said to have confessed giving his cohort the placenta for monetary gain to use for good luck charm while Ibrahim had also confessed to have collected it from her.
To cover up his link with Fatima, Ibrahim was said to have threw the placenta away inside water drainage at Surulere bridge after realising that it could not be used for the intended goal.
A search conducted by the security operative at the accused person’s house at No. 17, Abdul-Azeez Attah Road, Agaka, Ilorin, led to the recovery of an exercise book containing how to prepare charm, a photocopied paper on how to use placenta to make charm and other criminal charms.
Ibrahim further confessed that he could not use the placenta for the said charm and as such, threw it inside the water drainage.
The prosecutor, Barr. Adekunle Iwalaye, in his submission over the matter said that investigation is still ongoing, saying court should grant them an adjournment to facilitate the arraignment of the accused persons to the state High Court.
On the issue of bail, Iwalaye objected to the bail of the accused persons, praying the court to remand the duo in Federal Prison in accordance with the provision of section 129, most especially section (2) of CPC.
He noted further that, “It will equally assist the accused persons from committing similar offence or escaping from Justice as contained in section 341 of CPC. It will further serve as a protective custody for the accused persons considering the outcry against such offences in the society,” he submitted.
Barrister Toyin Onaolapo in his defence urged the court to dismiss the submission of the prosecutor.
He said, “The only question before this court is whether the accused persons are entitle to bail, and answer to that is positive.
Justifying his application for the bail of the accused persons, Onaolapo stressed that the highest law of the land, which is the 1999 constitution as amended, presumed the accused persons innocent until it is proven otherwise.
“They need time and facility to prepare for their defence, I commend My lord to section 36 (5) of the said constitution and section 36 (c) that gave two of them right to facilities for their defence.
“Going by the FIR, none of the alleged offences carried maximum punishment, although I agree with the fact that it can only be tried by the High Court but lack of jurisdiction should not make court to deny them bail.
Magistrate Ndakene who ceded to the prayer of the prosecutor, however remanded the accused while the matter was adjourned to November 28, 2018.