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Mohbad: Recuse yourself if…, group tells Lagos Coroner

A human rights group, has called Magistrate Adedayo Shotobi, the Coroner in an ongoing inquest on the death of Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, to step aside if he can no longer handle the case.

The group, “International Observers in the Pursuant of Justice” in a statement by its Chairperson, Victoria Janolewsky, raised concerns over the manner Mohbad’s case is being handled.

Mohbad died on September 12, 2023 at the age of 27. His death generated controversies and protests, prompting the Lagos State government to direct a coroner’s inquest into the death.

The inquest, which began on October 13, 2023, is taking place at the Ikorodu Magistrates’ Court.

But the group called for equity, fairness and justice in the matter.

The group in an open letter told the Coroner that “if by any slightest chance, you can no longer preside over this case, due to personal reasons or biases, respectfully and gracefully recuse yourself.”

The body said “We the international observers will implore your honorable magistrate to allow equity, fairness and justice to prevail in this matter, knowing that silence in the face of injustice is perversion of justice as everyone is equal before the law and all are under the rule of law.

“If the case of Mohbad is appropriately adjudicated, it will serve as a judicial milestone and a resounding deterrent to the society which will set a new precedence to the community at large, emphasizing the sanctity and dignity of the human life. The federal republic of Nigeria is by far a country of Law and Order to the highest degree, whose pristine standards should not be dented by any persons or personalities.

“We noticed that when one of the witnesses by the name, Spending was about to narrate the incident that transpired on the 3rd mainland bridge between the deceased and Wunmi Cynthia Adebanjo (CY) the live-in partner of the deceased, your honor, you interjected and told him to calm down, this singular action made him lose his trail of thought and further intimidated and suppressed his already low self esteem and confidence, leading to increased anxiety level, as evidenced in the ensuing panic attack. These are cardinal signs and symptoms of panic attack under this circumstance.

“Please, your honor take note of these medical and clinical evidence-based responses to panic attack moving forward, as these may have affected the integrity of his witness testimony.

“In the interest of justice, we implore you that every witness should be called and allowed to tell their side of the truth freely without any fear or intimidation of any sorts and the witnesses should be protected and high security provided to ensure their lives are save under the Witness Protection Act. One live lost, too many.

“In the strongest of terms, dear honorable magistrate if by any slightest chance, you can no longer preside over this case, due to personal reasons or biases, respectfully and gracefully recuse yourself.”

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