A divorcee, Mrs. Taiwo Idehen, and her three adult children suspected of involvement in the death of their father, a retired Superintendent of Police (SP) Mr. Joseph Idehen, have been brought before an Igbosere High Court in Lagos.
The Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (Force CIID), Alagbon-Ikoyi, arraigned Taiwo, Samuel, Michael and Ruth Idehen before Justice Adedayo Akintoye.
The defendants are standing trial on a six-count charge of alleged conspiracy to commit murder, murder, forgery of a death certificate, falsification of documents and stealing.
Last April, Justice Akintoye issued a warrant for the defendants’ arrest and for the Police to arraign them last May 8, but the arraignment could not take place.
The police, in a charge marked LD/6510c/2017, accused the defendants of conspiring to commit the offences on July 4, 2016, at the deceased’s residence: No. 5, Odetola Street, off Merit Road, Alagbado, Lagos.
The police said Taiwo was the deceased’s third wife but that they divorced over 29 years ago.
Taiwo was also said to be a Pastor of Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministry, Ishawo, Ikorodu, Lagos.
Idehen, 64, died after eating food allegedly served him by one of his daughters, about a year after he retired. The late Idehen had 11 children.
The defendants were accused of forging a death certificate from Ota General Hospital, Ogun State, with which they conveyed their father’s corpse to Aragba in Delta State.
It was also alleged that efforts to conduct an autopsy on the body proved abortive, as four of his 11 children and their mother buried him in an unknown place.
The court heard that the third defendant, Michael, fraudulently withdrew N286, 000 from Idehen’s First Bank Plc account.
All the defendants were said to have fraudulently withdrawn N2.1 million from the deceased’s Zenith Bank Plc account.
The offences, according to prosecuting counsel Morufu Animashaun, contravened sections 233, 365 (3)(d), 366 and 287 (5) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The defendants pleaded not ‘guilty’.
Animashaun prayed the court to remand them in prison custody pending the conclusion of trial.
“The defendants’ arraignment was predicated on a petition dated August 2016, written to the Police by the Chambers of Milestone Partners, wherein the role played by each of the defendants leading to the death of the retired police officer was stated,” Animashaun told the judge.
He said upon receiving the petition, each defendant was invited for interrogation and their statements were taken.
But defence counsel, Mr. Kennedy Osunwa, opposed him.
Osunwa said he had filed his clients’ bail applications “and same have been served on the prosecution.”
Justice Akintoye remanded each defendant in prison custody pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications on January 25.