Six protesting ‘sunset teachers’ arrested by the police on Thursday appeared before an Ilorin magistrate court.
The First Information Report, FIR, sheet read; “Criminal conspiracy, disturbance of public peace, inciting public disturbance, disobedience of order duly promulgated by a public servant, failure to comply with restriction order imposed by the government contrary to Section 07,113,114,152 (B) of the Penal code and regulation 17 paragraph (1) (1) of the Kwara state Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020, on 17/02/2021.
The charge sheet said ” The above-captioned case was transferred from the Department of Operations, Kwara State Police Command of the Nigerian Police Force, Ilorin to the state criminal investigation department for discreet investigation.
“That you, Isiaka Toyin Ibrahim (m) of Alanamu area, Ilorin, Mohammed Salihu Olayinka, (m) of No 20 Owowami compound, Alanamu area, Ilorin, Salaudeen Abubakar (m) No 7, Oke Ose compound, Okesuna area, Ilorin, Ibrahim Alabi (m) Federal Housing Estate, Ilorin, Adewale Abdulazeez (m) of No 17, Ganiki phase 11, Sango, Ilorin, and Aransiola Olubukun (f) of Gaa Akanbi area, Ilorin, all conspired with other persons now at large while protesting on Ahmadu Bello Way in Ilorin, Kwara State, defiantly blocked both lanes of the road and all peaceful efforts to get you off the road proved abortive resulting in the obstruction of the road and grinding to a halt the free flow of vehicular and human traffic, thereby disturbing public peace and inciting public disturbance.
“Furthermore, during the course of the protest, you breached government’s regulations prohibiting the large gathering of people in public places without the use of face masks and maintenance of social distancing in contravention of the state governor’s executive order.”
According to the FIR, a discreet investigation carried out by the SCID revealed that the suspects “Indeed conspired with other persons who are now at large to commit and did commit the said offences by sitting down on both lanes of the road and blocking the said Ahmadu Bello Way, Ilorin on 17th, February 2021, at about 1200hrs, thereby grinding to a halt free flow of vehicular and human traffic and gathered regard for social distancing in contravention of the executive order on the prevention of the spread of Covid-19.”
Police prosecutor, Inspector Adewumi Johnson, urged the court to remand the suspects to prevent them from committing similar offences or hinder police investigation into the matter.
Counsel to the suspects, Ibrahim Akewusola, however, urged the court to disregard the submission of the prosecutor on the ground that the suspects were still presumed innocent until the contrary is proven.
Trial Magistrate Awolola Abioye, however, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 each, with two sureties, one of whom must be a blood relation with landed property within the court’s jurisdiction and a civil servant.
The case was adjourned till March 4, 2021.