A member of Osun Park Management System, Olalekan Oyeyemi, was on Thursday remanded in Ile-Ife Correctional Centre by a Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo, Osun State.
Oyeyemi, also known as ‘Emir’ was appointed by the state governor, Ademola Adeleke.
He was dragged before the court by the Nigeria Police Force, which slammed an 11-count against him.
He had earlier been arrested by the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Osun State Police Command in 2023 for beating a man into coma.
At Thursday’s sitting, shortly after Oyeyemi was docked, and his charge was about to be read, his counsel, Edmund Biriomoni, raised the issue of jurisdiction.
Biriomoni, who had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter, as well as some of the counts listed against his client, said he had filed a preliminary objection to the murder charge pressed against Oyeyemi.
He said, “We were served with an 11-count charge. We are challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter. We are challenging the jurisdiction of the court to take the plea of the defendant on Counts 4 to 8, which bother on murder.
“We filed a preliminary objection to the first charge that has murder from number 1 to 4 and the prosecutor substituted the charge, and changed the numbers we are challenging.”
Responding, the prosecutor, Umar Usman, from the Force Headquarters, Abuja, asked the court to withdraw a charge previously filed before it dated October 16, 2023, and replace it with an amended charge dated January 31, 2024.
The prosecutor subsequently urged the court to take the plea of the defendant, having accepted the amended charge.
But defence counsel, after going through the amended charge, sought the relief of the court to verbally challenge counts 4 to 11 of the new charge, but the move was rejected by the court.
Usman contended that objection to the jurisdiction could only be raised after a plea of the defendant had been taken, asking the court to allow the matter to proceed.
However, in his ruling, Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel granted the withdrawal and substitution of the charge.
He remanded the defendant in Ile-Ife Correctional Centre, urging Biriomoni to file a formal application for objection to the amended charge on behalf of his client.
The court subsequently adjourned the matter till March 5.