A 44-year-old landlord, Okechukwu Chukwunahi, on Tuesday, March 7, appeared before the Ojo Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State for allegedly reporting two of his tenants to a shrine.
The police charged the defendant with conspiracy and trial by ordeal, according to News Agency of Nigeria.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Prosecution Counsel, Dr Simon Uche, told the court that the defendant committed the offence on February 21 at Ira Quatres, Ojo, Lagos.
He said that following a misunderstanding with his tenants, the defendant resorted to taking their names to a deity “Arusi Okija” shrine.
The nominal complainants according to the prosecutor are Onyeka Ibeabuchi and Chimezie Ezeuka.
He said that the tenants later received a call from the priest of the shrine, inviting them to appear in person before February 27, or risk death.
The prosecutor said that the defendant had initially referred the matter for mediation and later to a court in Badagry, but feeling unsatisfied, resorted to illegal means of trial by ordeal at the shrine.
He said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 127 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Magistrate L.J.K Layeni admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N300, 000 with two sureties in like sum.
He adjourned the trial until Mach 20, 2023.
The section punishes anyone who directs or presides over a trial by ordeal as a felon and punishes it with ten years.