Controversy has continued to trail the whereabouts of a murder suspect, Inspector Jonathan Kampani who shot dead Jelili Bakare at Quinox Lounge, Sangotedo on 18 March, 2021.
Newsnowonline which broke the story then before the Lagos police command, led by former Commissioner of Police, AIG Hakeem Odumosu (rtd) was forced to visit the slain Bakare’s family. Investigation revealed that there’s an attempt to bungle the case from the Lagos Police Command and Lagos state Government prosecuting the case.
When the case was brought before
Justice Serifat Sonaike of Lagos High Court recently, she issued production warrant to Kirikiri maximum and medium correctional facilities but the defendant was not there.
On 8th March, 2022, Justice Sonaike again issued another production warrant to Ikoyi Correctional facility and thereafter adjourned to 12th April, 2022.
Curiously, the records of the magistrate court 1, Yaba indicates that the defendant has been on bail before the DPP’s advice was issued.
A certified true copy of the proceedings at Yaba Magistrate court indicated that Jonathan has been on bail since Tuesday 15, June 2021.
It’s surprising that since the magistrate court lacks jurisdiction to hear a murder case, it was to act in the interim based on the DPP’s advice. Why the haste in granting bail even before the DPP’s advice?
There are several missing links on how the murder case has been handled.
It’s also strange and smacks of cover up that the police prosecutor will not object to the bail application of a murder suspect, the same police that opposes bail application for minor offenses as a matter of routine.
Again, the role of Magistrate Court 1, Yaba, presided by her Honour, Adeola Olatunbosun, raises baffling and mind boggling questions as to whether it is the norm for magistrates to grant bail pending DPP’s advice on murder, and to further allow the bail of the defendant continue despite the DPP’s advice.
It thus appears that the state counsel and prosecutor at magistrate court are not in communication, otherwise such miscarriage of justice may not have arisen.
Was the loophole explored by the Police Prosecutor handling the case in not objecting to bail application of a murder suspect meant to treat the case without following due diligence because Jonathan was a police officer? It’s not clear.
Again, all the promises made by Odumosu when he visited the bereaved family last year that justice will be done may have been jettisoned as the accused has been walking a free man several months before he (Odumosu) retired early this year. His visit to the Ojomu of Ajiranland, HRH Oba Tijani Akinloye may have been to calm frayed nerves and not to pursue the case to a logical conclusion as promised.
Strong indication emerged to that effect as the family of Bakare was kept in the dark about the prosecution of the accused without proper briefing about the status of the case from time to time.
Initially, when Eti-Osa lawyer’s Forum raised the issue and petition the Inspector General of Police over the matter, Lagos Anti Crime Division In Panti, Yaba acknowledged the receipt of the lawyers’ letter after receiving signal from Abuja and also wrote them that the Director of Public Prosecution in Lagos state had advised them to proceed and arraign the suspect that a prima facie Case has been established.
On the part of the police, Inspector Jonathan has been given orderly room trial and sacked based on the preliminary investigation.
It’s therefore surprising why a murder suspect will be granted bail on liberal terms despite the avalanche of evidence against him.
A source familiar with the case said he was shocked when the defendant was introduced to him recently.
“ He was well dressed and there was no correctional service officials around him to show the gravity of his offense, a murder suspect.
“One thing is clear, there’s no diligent prosecution in this case and it seems there’s an attempt to cover up the suspect” said a source who craves anonymity because he’s not authorized to speak on the issue.
Even the lawyer from the Lagos state ministry of justice must have been surprised how a murder suspect was granted bail by the Magistrate court.
More worrisome is the fact that Inspector Jonathan was granted bail on liberal terms. For a murder suspect to be granted bail of N300, 000. 00 and two sureties in the like sums by Magistrate Adeola Olatunbosun may have exposed some untidy arrangement in the whole process.
For now, it’s not clear what would happen next as Justice Sonaike has adjourned the case till April 12, whilst the Magistrate court will sit in respect of the same case on April 6, 2022.
Whether the Magistrate Court will reverse itself and revoke the bail and ask him to be taken to the correctional facility, no one can tell.
The police prosecutor may also be in a dilemma of how to explain why he was granted bail to Justice Sonaike who thought he was in a correctional facility and has ordered that he (Jonathan) be brought before her on the April 12th adjourned date.
Attempt to get the reaction of the Public Relation Officer of Lagos Police Command, Adekunle Ajisebutu, a Chief Superintendent of Police was unsuccessful as at the time of filling this report.
Agony Of A Widow: I’m Shattered, Confused – Bakare’s Wife
Tears streamed down Mrs. Aishat Bakare’s cheeks as she narrated, in chilling details, the last events leading to the killing of her husband, Jelili, by a trigger-happy police officer, Inspector Jonathan Kampani. The March 18, 2021 incident, she said, had left her reeling in shock. Aishat said she would never forget the day her husband was killed in cold blood.
The widow said she was at home, on the verge of sleep, when she received the phone that shattered her life, plunging her into unimaginable agony. She said: “After I received the first phone call, sleep disappeared from my eyes. I had to call our children and informed them their dad had been shot.
A few hours later, I received another phone call; the caller said that Jelili had died. I passed out. When I opened my eyes, I discovered I was in the hospital. He was a good husband and father to our children. I don’t know where to start from right now. I’m so confused, worried and scared. I don’t even know how to take care of these children alone.
The killer policeman shouldn’t go unpunished because he had taken away my joy and happiness. “The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, and his team came here to sympathise with us over the loss of my husband. The commissioner promised to charge the policeman to court.”
The incident occurred at Quinox Lounge, Sangotedo area of Lagos State on March 18, 2021, about 11.30pm when the police officer, attached to the Mounted Troop, Force Animal Branch, had an argument with the deceased and shot him dead. After shooting Jelili, the inspector took to his heels but he was eventually arrested by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Ogombo Division, Lagos State.
The suspect, Kampani, was moved to the State Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba, for proper investigation on the orders of Odumosu. Jelili and his friends, Adeniyi Lawal and Lanre Bada, went to have dinner at the hotel, when all the hell broke loose. Soon, Jelili was dying in a pool of his blood.
The police officer was said to have walked up to the victim and told him, “You! I’ll teach you a lesson”. He then shot Jelili point blank on the chest. Recollecting the incident, Lawal said: “I was returning from work when I received a phone call from Jelili. He asked me to join him at the hotel so that we could have dinner together. Jelili was a building contractor and the hotel where the incident occurred was close to his office.
“When we entered the hotel, he asked me to order whatever I wanted. I told him I wanted to go home to eat because of my wife. Jelili then told me he wanted to eat at the hotel because someone was bring-ing a contract for him the following day. He didn’t want to go home, so that he wouldn’t miss the appointment. He had planned to sleep in one of the buildings he was working on in the estate.
After persuading me, I ordered a plate of food. While I was eating, the waitress left to prepare Jelili’s.” Lawal explained that while Jelili was waiting for his food, another of their friends, Lanre Bada, joined them. Bada had earlier wanted to take his food home, but when he saw his friends eating, he jettisoned his earlier plan and joined them to eat his food. Lawal said: “After I was done with my food, I got up and said goodbye to both of them. I was about to leave the hotel when I saw the mobile policeman walking into the hotel. He stopped in front of me, saying that he wanted to search me.
I thought he was joking, so I replied jokingly, ‘Oga, why do you want to search me? We are in a hotel.’ I reminded him that the hotel was not the highway. To my shock, he corked his rifle and threatened to shoot me. I hurriedly moved away from him and returned to where my friends sat. I informed them about the policeman and how he harassed me.” After informing his friends, Lawal went to seek out the manager of the hotel and complained about the policeman. The manager promised to calm the policeman, explaining that he was the mopol guarding the estate, where the hotel is situated. “Lanre stood up from where he was eating, went to the policeman and told him to stop harassing people. That was how I escaped from that hotel.
A few hours after I got home, I received a phone call from someone that Jelili had been shot by the policeman. I dashed out of my house and went straight to the hotel. When I got to the hotel, I was still hearing gunshots. I entered the hotel and saw Jelili already in a vehicle; he was soaked in blood.
I noticed there was a key in the ignition. I started the vehicle and rushed him to a private clinic in the area, but we were referred to General Hospital at Ajah. The doctor pronounced him dead on arrival. The doctor said Jelili had lost a lot of blood. That was how I started calling his family members and friends. I also called my wife to tell her what happened. It was Lanre who told me that Jelili was shot at close range, right on the chair he sat. The policeman shot Jelili for no reason,” Lawal recalled. Corroborating Lawal’s story, Bada said he saw Jelili and Lawal about to eat and de-cided to join them.
He said: “Jelili and I were at the hotel eating when Adeniyi rushed back to inform us that a mobile policeman was standing on his way, and even wanted to search him. That was how Jelili and I went to persuade him to allow Adeniyi to go home because it was already late.
Even before I entered the hotel, I had seen the policeman shooting sporadically for no reason. When I approached and told him not to disturb people in the hotel, he apologised. Anyway, after the policeman’s altercation with Adeniyi and our eventual intervention, Jelili and I returned to our seats, to continue with our food. To my shock, the policeman came straight to where Jelili was eating and said, ‘You! I’ll teach you a lesson,’ and then shot him at close range. I left my food and ran.” Bada ran to hide and from his hiding place, he watched as the inspector continued to shoot sporadically like, “someone possessed.” While watching, he observed that Jelili, who had fallen to the ground, was writhing in pains. “Nobody could go close to him because the policeman was still shooting. There was serious panic in the hotel.
Up till this moment, I still don’t understand why he killed my friend. After the incident, some youths attempted to set the hotel ablaze.” Jelili’s elder brother, Mr. Mutiu Bakare, said he was at Orile-Iganmu when he received a phone call that his younger brother had been killed. Mutiu drove down to Sangotedo to find out the facts of the matter. He said: “When I saw my brother at the hospital, I noticed that he was badly injured by the policeman. I went to Ogombo Police Station to report the matter officially.
We later took his remains to the mortuary. While at the mortuary, I was told the policeman had been arrested. I went to the police station the same night to see the policeman. I confronted and asked him why he killed my brother, he said he didn’t know what happened to him. He kept apologising, saying the devil caused it.
“I want the policeman to be killed for killing my brother. Jelili and I were the only two male children our mother had; the rest are females. Jelili and I were very close. We have buried him at Abari Cemetery, but I want justice for him. Jelili was my best friend.” When our reporter went to the hotel to speak with the manager, he declined to comment, stressing that he had not been given permission to speak with journalists. Odumosu and the entire management team of the command on March 27, 2021, paid a condolence visit to the family of the deceased.
Odumosu was received by the Olori Ebi of the Bakare family in Ajiranland, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, Chief Yekini Olawale, the mother, wives and children of the deceased. The team also paid a visit to the Oba of Ajiranland, His Royal Majesty, Oba Tijani Akinloye, in his palace and expressed its heartfelt condolences on the demise of one of his subjects. Odumosu also ordered that the inspector be tried in an orderly room and charged to court in no time as the family of the deceased deserved justice.
Culled from Telegraph