Two diviners have been arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court for allegedly forcing a 16-year-old housemaid to swallow a cross made of metal for spiritual cleansing.
The defendants, Kehinde Salami, 25; and Yetunde Okonola, 42, whose residential address was given as No. 20 Adeyeri Street, Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos, are facing four counts of conspiracy, conduct likely to cause breach of peace, false pretences and attempted murder.
The police prosecutor, Sergeant Kenrich Nomayo, alleged that the perpetrators attempted to kill 16-year-old Angelina Moses by telling her to swallow a metal cross against her wish.
Nomayo told the court that the offenders committed the offences on March 24, 2019, around 4pm at their residence.
He said the defendants conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace by claiming to see a particular vision concerning the victim.
The police prosecutor said, “The defendants said they ‘saw a vision’ concerning the housemaid that her destiny had been altered from her village and she was told that seven days of fasting and prayer would be conducted to deliver her.
“The defendants, alongside others, who are still at large, also gave the victim a metal cross to swallow on the pretext of delivering her from witchcraft, a representation they both knew to be false.
“As we speak, we do not know the state of health of the complainant as she is still receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital.”
The charges read in part, “That you, Yetunde Okonola, Kehinde Salami and others now at large, on March 24, 2019, around 4pm, on No. 20 Adeyeri Street, Ifako Ijaiye, Lagos State, in the Ikeja Magisterial District, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; conduct likely to cause breach of peace and attempted murder.
“That you, Yetunde Okonola, Kehinde Salami and others now at large, on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district, did attempt to kill one Angelina Moses, 16, by telling her to swallow a metal cross, which she did.
“That you, Yetunde Okonola, Kehinde Salami and others now at large, on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district, did obtain the sum of N2,500 from one Angelina Moses, 16, on the pretext of delivering her from witchcraft, knowing same to be false.”
The crimes were said to flout sections 168, 203, 314 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (revised).
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Nomayo said conspiracy attracted a two-year jail term; false pretences, 15-year jail term; while attempted murder attracted life imprisonment.
The ruling magistrate, Mrs T. A. Ojo, granted the defendants N200,000 bail with two sureties each in like sum.
Ojo ruled that the sureties must be gainfully employed with evidence of two years tax payment to the Lagos State Government and have their addresses verified by the court.
She added that the sureties must be blood relations of the defendants and live within the court’s jurisdiction.
Ojo, however, ordered that the defendants be remanded in the Kirikiri Prison pending the perfection of their bail conditions.
The magistrate adjourned the case till April 30, 2019.
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