Mosque attack: Detained masquerader’s custodian ill, can’t stand trial, says counsel

Bola Bamigbola

5 July 2021

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Following the arrest of Bale Esu of Osogbo, Osun State, Chief Kayode Esuleke, over an alleged attack by followers of the Esubuyi Masquerader on a mosque, his counsel, Mr Kehinde Abioye, on Sunday, said his client was ill and could not stand trial.

Esuleke, who is the owner of the Esubiyi Masquerader, has been detained since last Tuesday following a complaint by worshippers at the Kamorudeen Society Central Mosque, Osogbo, that they were attacked by the masquerader and his followers, which led to the death of their member, Moshood Salawudeen.

But the masquerader’s camp denied the allegation, saying the Muslims had been intolerant of the traditionalists, and even attempted to undress the masquerader while passing through the neighbourhood of the mosque on the day of the incident.

Esuleke; his son, Fashola; and the leader of the Kamorudeen Society, Imam Quoseem Yunus, were arrested and detained by the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team.

But while shedding light on why Esuleke was not arraigned during an interview with PUNCH Metro on Sunday, Abioye explained that the police planned to bring him to court last Friday, but shelved the idea after he took ill.

According to the lawyer, Esuleke, who is on admission at the Police Clinic, Osogbo, is responding to treatment and will be ready for trial as soon as he is medically fit.

He said, “The law allows it that a man who is not medically fit should not be made to appear in court, be it criminal proceedings, be it arraignment or hearing. The police were set to take Esuleke and the Kamorudeen cleric to court and get them arraigned before the appointed magistrate last Friday.

“But as a result of illness of chief (Esuleke), they suspended the arraignment. But that does not mean he will not go to court. As we speak, he is at the police clinic receiving treatment. The moment he is fit, the law will take its course and we will be ready to defend him. I have been speaking to him on phone.”

Counsel for the leader of the Kamorudeen Society, Hashim Abioye, when contacted, said his client was last Friday admitted to administrative bail.

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