As has been reported in various news sources over the last few days, some individuals were arrested and detained after violence marred what were mostly peaceful protests in the State on Saturday, 10 October 2020.
Following the violence, thirty one (31) individuals were initially arrested, of which twenty-eight(28) have been released on bail pending the conclusion of investigations by the police.
This morning, the remaining three (3) individuals were charged by the Police with felonies and have now been detained pursuant to a remand order issued by an Abeokuta Magistrate Court.
The Office of the Attorney-General of Ogun State is constrained to issue this press statement to address false and misleading information currently circulating on various social media platforms on the administration of criminal justice in the State.
The Office wishes to clarify that speculation on social media and from other quarters that the individuals have been tried or convicted of attempted murder, conspiracy or any other offences are false.
We wish to state categorically that none of the three (3) individuals has been convicted of any offence. The next steps in the criminal justice process are as follows:
1. The Police investigation case file detailing the evidence against the individuals has now been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) of the Ogun State Ministry of Justice.
2. The Ministry of Justice will independently review the case file and determine whether, on the available evidence, any charges should be filed against the individuals and, if so, the most appropriate charges.
3. The individuals, if the Ministry decides that charges are indeed warranted, will then be immediately arraigned at the High Court of Ogun State, where their pleas will be taken prior to commencement of trial.
The arrested individuals are, and will at all times continue to be, entitled to legal representation and applications for their bail can be made before any court of competent jurisdiction.
The Ministry of Justice is committed to ensuring that due process is followed in all cases, including the aforementioned matter, and that citizens’ constitutional rights are respected at all times throughout the criminal justice process.
Members of the public may wish to know that the Police are bound to investigate both the incriminating and exculpatory aspects of any case.
We would therefore like to encourage any member of the public with relevant information on the events of Saturday, 10 October 2020 to come forward to provide a statement to the Police.
Anyone with relevant information may also contact the Office of the Attorney-General through email@example.com.
Mr. Akingbolahan Adeniran
Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice