From: Lukman Olabiyi
A former Nigerian wrestling champion, Power Uti, recently arrested by the police and charged to court over the controversial death of his wife, Toyin, has been granted bail by the Lagos State Magistrate Court, sitting in Ebute Metta.
Uti was alleged to have beat the deceased to death at their residence, 17, Oremeji Street, Ilupeju, Lagos, on October 10, 2017.
Toyin, 38, until her demise, was a mother of four children who are under the ages of nine. The two were married for 10 years.
Count one of the charge against Uti read: “That you John Eke Uti, on the 10th day of October, 2017, at about 10.25 am, at 17, Oremeji Street, Ilupeju, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully killed one Toyin Uti, aged 38, by beating her to death and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 222 and punishable under section 223 Cap C17, Vol. 3 of the criminal laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015”.
While the Count two reads: “that you John Eke Uti, date, time and place, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did disrespect the corpse of one Toyin Uti, aged 38, by abandoning the corpse in a room to decompose and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 165(a) Cap C17, Vol. 3 of the criminal laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015”.
Though, his plea was not taken, but his lawyer, I. E. Mkoemekor, pleaded with the court, to consider Section 224 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL ) of Lagos State, 2015, to look into the case file, where it will be discover that his client has no link to the deceased death.
He also pleaded with the court to grant the wrestler bail in a very liberal term.
The presiding magistrate, Mrs. B. O. Folarin Williams, while ruling on the application cited Section 224(5) of ACJL of Lagos state, said she would not grant remand application argued by the police prosecutor, Sergeant Jimah Ishegele, on the ground that former world wrestling champion was not linked with the death of the deceased.
The magistrate said: “I have read the case file, and none of the witnesses listed said that the defendant killed her wife.
“Even, the Police Investigation Officer (IPO) could not establish that the defendant killed the deceased.
“I’m not going to grant the remand application, I will grant bail to the defendant, and send the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution for advice.
“Consequently, I hereby admit bail to defendant in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties. The sureties must be gainful employed in reputable companies.”
The magistrate also ordered that the addressee of the sureties must be verified by the prosecutors, and that the sureties must have paid three years tax to Lagos state government.
The matter has been adjourned till November 15, 2017, for report on DPP’s advice.
The magistrate however ordered that the former wrestling champion be remanded in prisons custody pending when he meet the bail conditions. (The Sun)