Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Abuja Court Discharges 11 Armed Robbery Suspects Because Police Couldn't Prove Its Case

Eleven men charged with armed robbery and conspiracy before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were, on Tuesday, discharged for the failure of the police to prove their case against them.

The men: Sani Mohammed (28); Godwin Okagbue (35); Babayaro Musa-Ayuba (46); Emeka Okoli (32); Chijioke Okwo (43); Elendu Okorie (36); Justin Anorue (33); Uche Chukwuma (32); Jack Omelinuniru (41); Chukwudi Okafor (22); Geoffrey Ozomabu (30) as well as one Ikenna Obika and Chinedu Kongoso, who are at large, were arraigned before Justice Peter Kekemeke, sitting at Nyanya, Abuja.

The defendants were charged with seven-count charge bordering on conspiracy, armed robbery and receiving stolen goods.

They were alleged to have on October 16, 2016, at about 1 am conspired to commit armed robbery at NNPC filling station at Karshi, Abuja contrary to Section 6 (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision), 2004.

They were further alleged to have been armed with guns, classes, iron cutters and other dangerous weapons on the day of the incident robbed and threatened one Abdullahi Arma-Yau.

The police, through their counsel, Simon Lough, alleged that the defendants also robbed the managing director of the station, Ishaku Saidu, of his JMG generator and other valuables.

The generator, according to the prosecution, was received by Chukwudi Okafor and Geoffrey Ozomabu between October 16 and November 22, 2016.

The offences, alleged to have been committed by the defendants, according to the police, were contrary to Sections 1 (2), 5, 6 (b) the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) 2004 and Sections 319 (a) and 327 of the Penal Code.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

Delivering judgment in the case today, Justice Kekemeke held that the prosecution failed to prove the elements of the offences the defendants were alleged to have committed.

According to the judge, there was no evidence placed before the court to either prove that the defendants conspired among themselves as alleged by the police or caught with arms.

He further held that items alleged to have been stolen by the defendants were not brought before the court as evidence, adding that there was no proof that stolen goods were found with any one of the defendants.

He held that the police were given opportunities to prove their case against the defendants, adding that the prosecution failed to utilise such as the doctrine of fear hearing stipulated.

“There was no evidence to link all the defendants together conspiring as alleged nor any evidence to showing that they were caught with arms.

“The items alleged to have been stolen were not brought to court as evidence nor any proof that stolen goods were found with any one of the defendants,” Justice Kekemeke held.

While discharging the defendants, the judge held that there was no evidence to link them with the allegations against them.

According to him, “there is no evidence linking the defendants with the allegations levelled against them. The defendants are hereby discharged of the charges against them.”
In the course of their trial, the eighth defendant, Uche Chukwuma, died

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