An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, on Wednesday, ordered the release of six persons who allegedly kidnapped the twins of popular Islamic preacher, Sheikh Taofeek Akewugbagold.
The suspects regain their freedom after spending 11 months in a Correctional facility.
The Suspects are Muhammed Basir; Oyeleye Opeyemi; Olumide Ajala; Taiwo Ridwan; Rafiu Mutiu and Fatai Akanji.
The suspects, among whom are two employees of Akewugbagold, allegedly kidnapped the twins, aged two years and four months, at gunpoint at their residence in Ojoo area of Ibadan, on April 17, 2020.
Akewugbagold, a principal star witness in the case, had informed the court on Monday that he had forgiven the defendants and not willing to give evidence against them.
The Illusion preacher also urged the court to mandate the defendants to sign an undertaking that nothing would happen to him and his family.
Ruling on the matter on. Wednesday, Justice Mashud Abas, said that there are provisions in the laws of Nigeria that if applied would compel Akewugbagold to give evidence in the suit.
Abas said Akewugbagold did what he did based on his vast knowledge in Islamic laws that sometimes ordered compensation to be paid to the victim’s family by a murder suspect.
The judge, however, said applying the provisions in the laws of Nigeria in this particular case might not lead to anywhere due to the fact that the star witness had decided not to give evidence against the defendants.
“No legal purpose will be served by any attempt to waste judicial time in further prosecuting the defendants.
“I hereby strike out the suit and order conditional release of the defendants.
“I will not sign their release until the condition is adhered to,” Abas said.
He ordered that the defendants signed an undertaking that nothing would happen to Akewugbagold and his family.
Abas called on parents to always monitor the activities of their wards and the type of peer groups they moved with.
The suspects freed were remanded in Correctional facility without bail on April 25, 2020, without bail.