#ENDSARS: UPDATE AND REPORT ON 17YRS OLD KEMISOLA OGUNNIYI’S CASE AFTER 8MONTHS, LAWYER
Gentlemen of the Press, Learned Colleagues and the General Public!
UPDATE AND REPORT ON KEMISOLA’S CASE
Following our letters of the 17th of June 2021, to the Honourable Attorney-General of Ondo State and the Honourable Chief Judge of Ondo State respectively on this matter, we sought audience with the office of the AG yesterday and we went into a long meeting with the Honourable Attorney-General of Ondo State, Sir Charles Titiloye on this matter. The meeting in the office of the AG ended around 4pm yesterday.
The AG expressed his passionate interest in seeing Kemisola out on bail without delay. The AG took steps to reach out for an earlier date for the hearing of the bail applications filed for Kemisola and three others while the case of Kemisola be taken as a case of urgency and showed genuine concern to see Kemisola leave prison to take care of her baby at home. We therefore agreed on few other fast-tracking steps which took us to the office of the Honourable Chief Judge for further steps.
We got good assurances from the office of Chief Judge that Kemisola needed be out before the bail applications would be taken as it would be a longer process if we had to wait for the normal routine procedural steps and it was resolved and advised we do a letter of application which we drafted and submitted immediately around 6pm, outside office hour, applying directly to the Chief Judge, even when there is already another judge assigned on the case, for a special consideration of an administrative bail for Kemisola as a matter of urgency so that she could take her child home.
The office of the Chief Judge worked outside the office hour on this application yesterday under the directive of the Chief Judge and the supervision of the Chief Registrar and we left the premises of the office of the CJ around 6:30pm yesterday, after putting all necessary things in perfect place for Kemisola to leave prison on Monday.
In view of many inaccurate reports circulated in many online platforms on this case, I consider it very important to clear the air on few areas.
For whatever it is worth, it is proper for the record to be put straight and I state that we were not the lawyers in this case till the 2nd of April, 2021. But from the record we inherited, Kemisola and others were arrested on the 22nd of October 2021 and taken to custody by the police, before being charged to the Magistrate Court in Akure which declined jurisdiction on the case based on the gravity of the offences, which include arson and the rest.
Kemisola and others were therefore remanded in prison custody in Surulere in Ondo, while their casefile was forwarded to the office of the DPP Ondo State for Legal Advice.
When the legal advice was out, charges were filed against them afresh at the High Court, Akure. Up till this time in question, Kemisola’s case has not come to our office and we were therefore not the lawyer in the case till the 2nd of April, 2021 when the parents of Kemisola and the three others came to our Akure office to brief us with this case, following which we demanded for letters of instruction from them which were submitted before we accepted to take up the matter pro bono, free of charges.
The 2nd of June was a good Friday and while we were touched by their stories and waiting impatiently for the weekend to go by for us to swing to action, Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) declared indefinite nationwide strike action on the 3rd of June 2021, which halted all efforts that could be taken legally to secure her release.
It is important to say, that since we took over this case, the case has not come up in any court, till the JUSUN strike was called off on the 15th of June 2021 and the next day, the 16th of June 2021, we were in court to file the bail application by summons, with affidavit of urgency which was being filed in the registry, with Kemisola’s mother, when the call came through that Kemisola was in labour before being delivered of a baby boy!
In addition to this, we did not relent or wait for protocol, we also wrote letters to the Hon. Attorney-General of Ondo state and the Hon. Chief Judge of Ondo state, presenting different demands on behalf of our client, Kemisola, for speedy action and result.
Due to the touching nature of the case and the increasing public interest and the concern by many Nigerians, lawyers, organisations which include but not limited to the NBA branches of Akure and Ondo and beyond, we have deemed it fit to intimate and update our colleagues and the general public on this case this afternoon.
As God liveth, by Monday hopefully, Kemisola would leave the prison and go home and the seven days’ ceremony of child-naming of Kemisola’s son would not in the prisonyard!
Counsel to Kemisola Ogunniyi and three Others,