Akewugbagold seeks withdrawal of suit against kidnappers of his twins

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A popular Islamic cleric, Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold, on Monday, approached an Oyo State High Court, seeking the withdrawal of the suit against the alleged kidnappers of his twins.

Recall that the twins, aged two years and four months, were kidnapped at gunpoint at their residence in Ojoo area of Ibadan on April 17, 2020.

The defendants are: Muhammed Basir,Oyeleye Opeyemi, Olumide Ajala,Taiwo Ridwon, Rafiu Mutiu and Fatai Akanji.

Two of the alleged kidnappers were employees of the cleric.

The defendants were said to have collected N4 million ransom from Akewugbagold before releasing the kidnapped twins.

The defendants, who are standing trial before a high court in Ibadan on a five-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping, had since been remanded in a correctional facility.

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At the resumed hearing of the suit on Monday, Akewugbagold told the court that he had forgiven the defendants and wanted the suit struck out.

“As a prominent Islamic preacher, one of the major tenets of Islam is forgiveness.

“If I am preaching it to people, I also need to practise it. So I have forgiven them wholeheartedly and left the judgment to Allah and their conscience.

“They should search their conscience if indeed I deserve what they did to me and also learn lessons from it.

“I thank the defendants for giving me the opportunity to see my twins again, because if they had killed them, something else would have happened,” Akewugbagold said.

The cleric, however, urged the court to ensure that the defendants signed undertakings that nothing would happen to him and his family.

He commended the judge for his uprightness and prayed for his success.

When Justice Mashud Abas asked the cleric whether he was acting under duress, he said there was nothing of such, adding that he only acted in accordance with his belief.

The judge, thereafter, adjourned the case till Wednesday for ruling and ordered the defendants to be taken back to the correctional centre.

The parents of some of the defendants were also in court. (NAN)

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