The kidnappers of the twins of popular Ibadan based Islamic Preacher, Sheikh Taofeek Akewugbagold have been set free by an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the state capital.
The six defendants, Muhammed Basir, Oyeleye Opeyemi, Olumide Ajala, Taiwo Ridwon, Rafiu Mutiu and Fatai Akanji, were set free on Wednesday after spending 11 months in a correctional facility.
Their release was sequel to Akewugbagold’s statement in court on Monday that he had forgiven the defendants and not willing to give evidence against them. He further urged the court to mandate the defendants to sign an undertaking that nothing would happen to him and his family.
While delivering his ruling on Wednesday, the trial judge, Justice Mashud Abas said that there are provisions in Nigerian laws that if applied would compel Akewugbagold to give evidence in the suit.
He however acknowledged that Akewugbagold did what he did based on his vast knowledge in Islamic laws that sometimes ordered compensation to be paid to the victim’s family by a murder suspect.
“No legal purpose will be served by any attempt to waste judicial time in further prosecuting the defendants. I hereby strike out the suit and order conditional release of the defendants. I will not sign their release until the condition is adhered to,” Abas said.