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‘My Life Is Threatened’ – Judge In The Sanusi Trial Cries Out

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Children of late Chief Abdul-Rasak Sanusi, a Lagos business mogul, Sulaiman and Kehinde Sanusi, who were charged with illegal possession of fire arms and contempt of court by disrespecting a court order and arraigned before Magistrate Adeola Adebayo were both absent from court alongside their defendants.

At the start of the court session in an Igboshere Magistrate Court on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, Magistrate Adeola who had claimed severally that she received threat to her life from the two defendants instantly revealed that the case had been taken over by Justice Oluwafunmilayo Atilade, the Chief Judge of Lagos State and that the case file was no longer in her possession. She went ahead to reveal to all present how her life was being threatened by the defendants and that she wanted the whole world to know that should anything happen to her or her family, the accused were to be held responsible.

She had raised the alarm first at an earlier sitting that she received threat letteres delivered right to her house, she said that the defendants knew her house and had given details of her life in the letters.  “I don’t know why a defendant should know my house. My life is at risk. I feel very threatened. Let the world know about it so that if anything happens to me and any member of my family the whole world will know who to hold”, she said.

The case could not go on since the Magistrate was no longer in possession of the case file. The first defendants were charged by the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP), over illegal possesion of firearms contrary to Section 104 (1) of the Criminal Laws Of Lagos Sate, 2011 and Section 4 of the Nigerian Firearms Act in a suit marked A/143/2014. The charge was instituted by The Lagos State Commissioner of Police. Kehinde Sanusi was dismissed from the case due to lack of evidence ting him to the offence.

The charges were reportedly brought as a result of events that happened following a suit filed in 2002 by Suleiman and two other siblings of his against another three of their siblings who had been appointed by their father as executors of his estate. The suit marked ID/904M/2002, the plaintiffs had accused the respondents of mismanaging their late father’s estate. The plaintiffs were Sulaiman, Risikat Olusanya and Ganiyat Sanusi and the respondents of the case were Abdul- Mojeed Sanusi, Falilat Sanusi-Lawal, and Bilikisu Sanusi; the appointed executors of the Sanusi’s estate.

In 2006, Justice Williams Dawodu held that the Sulaiman (first applicant) was to produce or surrender all documents that were in his custody as regards the estate of their late father and that the respondents were to resume joint management of the estate as stated by their late father’s will. The respondents were also ordered to submit a report of stewardship on the estate to the court but they alleged that Sulaiman was yet to surrender all documents in his custody.

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