by Oge Okonkwo
A mild drama ensured following an outburst of an arraigned suspect, 21-year-old Tunde Balogun, at a magistrate court sitting in Yaba, Lagos during the hearing of a two-count felony charge brought against the suspect.
The incident occurred when Tunde, who instead of pleading to the charges, brought out some drugs from his pocket as he cried to the magistrate: “Please ma, I have been on these drugs since Saturday. I am not feeling okay. I have not had anything to eat since morning. Please ma, if you can help me, just give me something so that I can swallow these drugs.”
The act turned out to be a strategy to distract the court session after the magistrate quickly stopped the hearing to ascertain the health condition of the suspect form the Prosecuting Officer who brought him to court.
After the second charge was read, the accused remained silent for a while, after which he told the magistrate: “I heard what you said, but I don’t know anything about the charges you just read to me. I am not guilty of the charges. I am not feeling very fine, please I need to take these medications I bought from the Chemist since Saturday.”
It was further revealed by some witnesses at the hearing that a previous case of felony and assault committed against a young lady in February 2013, was struck out in court last Friday, but instead of turning a new leaf, the accused who is a son of a retired court official, committed another felony the next day.
According to a witness,“he is unrepentant and this has caused his father, who is a retired court registrar, so much pain.”
When asked reasons for misbehaving during the hearing, the accused told our reporter: “Truly, I am innocent of the charge against me. That evening, I went with one of my friends to purchase some drugs at a chemist, and suddenly we heard people shouting and running after some young men.
“In confusion, we joined them, but before I knew what was happening, they mobbed me. They broke a bottle on my head in the process. Look at the wound,” he said, showing off a wounded back of his head.