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General News of Friday, 10 June 2022

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Court acquits robbery suspects after three years behind bars

Court file photo Court file photo

An Ado-Ekiti High Court in Ekiti, on Thursday, discharged and acquitted three men, Prince Bulus, Michael Joshua, and Paul Mike over alleged conspiracy, armed robbery and possession of arms.

According to the charge, the three men were charged with three count charges that border on conspiracy, armed robbery and possession of illegal arms.

The defendants on December 11, 2018, around Yemraf Area, Adebayo Estate, Ado Ekiti, were alleged to have conspired to commit armed robbery, while armed with offensive weapons.

They were alleged to have robbed one Ibrahim Romoke of the sum of N45,700 and her phone, and also robbed Nike Durojaye on December 28, 2018, of the sum of N260, 150.

The offences violated sections 516, 402 (a), (b) of the Criminal Code Laws, Cap C16 Laws of Ekiti State, 2012.

In her statement, one of the victims, Ibrahim Romoke said after the day’s business around 10:00 p.m., he was about to lock the shop, when he saw one of the defendants who pretended to be a customer.

“When he drew near me, he pointed a gun at me and we entered my shop.

“He demanded for money, I begged him that I don’t have money but he saw my handbag where it was, he searched it and took all my sales for the day, N45, 700 and my handset.

“When I was about raising alarm, they climbed a waiting motorcycle and rode towards Federal Housing Estate area, I later reported the matter at Oke Ila Police station,” she said.

To prove his case, the prosecutor, Julius Ajibare, called five witnesses and tendered the victims’ and defendants’ statements as exhibits.

The defendants through their counsel, Adeyinka Opaleke, State Coordinator, Legal Aid Council, called no witness but denied committing the offences as alleged.

“We only went there to drink beer before we were arrested by officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,” they said.

In his judgment, the judge, Bamidele Omotoso, said the prosecution counsel had failed to establish all the three ingredients of the offence of armed robbery against the defendants.

“I also hold that the prosecution has failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt the offences of conspiracy, armed robbery and possession of illegal arms against the defendants.

“Finally, I resolve the sole issues in this case against the prosecution in favour of the defendants.

“The defendants are hereby discharged and acquitted of the offences of conspiracy, armed robbery and possession of illegal arms,” he said.

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