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Tokunbo denies driving offence

Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo pleaded not guilty yesterday to refusing to provide a breath sample after a car crash.

Mr Tokunbo and Allen Robinson, both 64, were taken into custody after a collision on South Road, in Paget, on January 19.

The car the men were in left the road and plunged down an embankment near the public entrance to Elbow Beach.

The pair were helped out of the car by a passer-by and Robinson was taken to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for treatment for minor injuries.

Robinson, from Warwick, pleaded guilty to the same offence in Magistrates' Court yesterday. He was fined $1,000 and disqualified from driving for 18 months by magistrate Craig Attridge.

Mr Tokunbo, also from Warwick, who was represented by Charles Richardson, is due back in court on June 24.

It is understood Mr Tokunbo, who has been a magistrate since 2005, has not sat on the bench since his arrest shortly after the incident. Government House has repeatedly failed to confirm his professional status.

The Royal Gazette approached the magistrate after the hearing to ask whether he would resume his career.

Mr Tokunbo declined to face questions and said: “I've got nothing to say.”

Government House, Director of Public Prosecutions Larry Mussenden and senior magistrate Juan Wolffe also remained tight-lipped over the matter yesterday.

The media were advised Mr Tokunbo would be appearing in Magistrates' Court at 9.30am.

He was seen outside the door to Courtroom 1, where first appearances are typically made, at about 10.15am, but did not appear inside before proceedings finished at about 10.45am.

Court staff later indicated that Mr Tokunbo and Robinson had appeared in another courtroom.

A Department of Public Prosecutions employee later confirmed that Mr Tokunbo and Robinson had appeared in Courtroom 2 and provided details on what took place.

Magistrate appointments are made by John Rankin, the Governor, who is responsible for their conduct.

Government House declined to answer yesterday questions about Mr Tokunbo's professional status, including whether he was still a magistrate and if he had served as an acting senior magistrate in February, as previously announced.

A spokeswoman said: “His Excellency does not comment on personnel matters.”

The same questions were sent to Government House in March and went unanswered.

Mr Mussenden was asked why the matter was not heard in Courtroom 1 and who made the decision to hear it in Courtroom 2. He responded to both: “You have to ask the senior magistrate this question.”

Mr Wolffe, who sat on the bench in Courtroom 1 yesterday, did not respond to questions by press time yesterday.

Mr Tokunbo was named Bermuda's first Director of Public Prosecutions in 2000.

The Royal Gazette was not in the court room, but the Department of Public Prosecutions provided the information after the hearing.

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

Khamisi Tokunbo (File photograph)

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Published May 30, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated May 30, 2019 at 9:04 am)

Tokunbo denies driving offence

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