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One-way: Court acquits Lagos motorist, orders vehicle release

A mobile court sitting at Bolade, Oshodi, Lagos State, has discharged and acquitted a motorist, Ereze Ojerheghan, who was allegedly assaulted for allegedly violating a traffic law.

The Magistrate, I.A. Abina, ordered that the victim’s Toyota Camry, with number plate GGE 598 EV, be released to him.

Ojerhegan was arraigned before the court for allegedly violating a traffic law while driving.

He was accused of committing the offence on December 21, 2021, around 7.10am, along the Abule Egba area of the state.

The prosecutor, A. Arigbabu, stated that the offence was punishable under Part 3, Item 27 of the Transport Sector Law of Lagos State 2018.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

During the trial, the prosecution called a witness, Inspector Alex Asalemi, who testified that he and his team were on duty at the Abule Egba area when the defendant drove against traffic.

He said the defendant refused to apologise when he was stopped but instead alighted and started shouting at the team.

The inspector said they towed the vehicle to their station and the prosecution closed its case.

The defence counsel, Festus Ogun, led Ojerheghan in evidence.

Ojerheghan said he was making his way around a bank parking space when he was blocked by two commercial buses.

He noted that while that was going on, a street urchin hit his vehicle and asked him to alight, before some policemen approached him.

The motorist said the policemen dragged him out of his car and started beating him, making him bleed from the nostrils and mouth.

He told the court that his money went missing when he got to the state secretariat, Alausa.

While delivering the judgment, the court held that the exhibit tendered as evidence before the court, which was a picture, was not clear.

Therefore, the magistrate said it could not be determined who was behind the wheel as of the time the picture was taken.

Abina said, “PW1 testified that a policeman entered the vehicle, removed the car key and the defendant came down and a picture was taken. There are doubts created in the mind of the court as rightly argued by the defence counsel and a reasonable man would infer from the evidence of the prosecution that there are possibilities that someone other than the defendant could have driven the vehicle to face that position. The doubt is resolved in favour of the defendant and he is therefore not guilty of the offence.

“The defendant, Ereze Ojerheghan, is discharged and acquitted and his vehicle, Toyota Camry GGE 598 EV is to be released forthwith.”

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