Landlord arraigned for allegedly reporting tenants to “Okija” shrine

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A 44-year-old landlord, Okechukwu Chukwunahi, was on Tuesday arraigned in an Ojo Magistrate’s Court in Lagos, for an alleged ‘trial by ordeal’.

The police charged the defendant with conspiracy and trial by ordeal.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Prosecution Counsel, Dr Simon Uche, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Feb. 21 at Ira Quatres, Ojo Lagos

He said that following a misunderstanding with his tenants, the defendant resorted to taking their names to a deity “Arusi Okija” shrine.

The nominal complainants according to the prosecutor are Onyeka Ibeabuchi and Chimezie Ezeuka.

He said that the tenants later received a call from the priest of the shrine, inviting them to appear  in person before Feb. 27, or risk death.

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The prosecutor said that the defendant had initially referred the matter for mediation and later to a court in Badagry, but feeling unsatisfied, resorted to illegal means of trial by ordeal at the shrine.

He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 127 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

Magistrate L.J.K Layeni admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N300, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

He adjourned the trial until Mach 20.

The section punishes anyone who directs or presides over a trial by ordeal as a felon and punishes it with ten years.

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