Daily Trust (Abuja)

30 November 2012

Nigeria: Olaitan - Court Acquits Reverend Ugolor

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A judge's gavel.

Benin — A Benin Chief Magistrate's Court yesterday discharged and acquitted Benin-based human and environmental rights activist Rev. David Ugolor over the murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, principal private secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole Edo State.

Ugolor, who was arrested on July 27 on ground that one of the suspects arrested by the police in Benin confessed that he was their sponsor, was later arraigned and remanded in prison custody with nine others by the court where Ugolor spent 41 days behind bars before being granted bail.

He was later awarded N5 million general damage by a Benin High Court for unlawful detention by the police authorities.

When the case came up for hearing yesterday, the counsel to Ugolor and one other person, Barrister Olayiwola Afolabi, drew the attention of the court to a letter addressed to it by the state Ministry of Justice exonerating the accused persons from the case.

Delivering judgement on the case, Chief Magistrate Francis Idiake ordered that the two accused persons should be released unconditionally.

In his reaction, Ugolor thanked God, the press and the international community for standing by him and reposing their confidence in him.

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