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3 robbery suspects cheat death

Posted by By OLA AGBAJE on 2005/07/14 | Views: 294 |

3 robbery suspects cheat death


Tears of joy flowed freely at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, Tuesday as three men standing trial for armed robbery were set free.

Tears of joy flowed freely at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, Tuesday as three men standing trial for armed robbery were set free.

Justice Joseph Oyewole gave Babatunde Olayiwola, Morufu Onade and Muyideen Raimi a clean bill of health in the three-count charge of conspiracy, robbery and robbery with violence preferred against them.

The three freed accused persons have been on death throes since July 2000 when they were arrested by the police in connection with a robbery incident in Odozi Street, in Ojodu area of Lagos State.

However, in his judgment, the trial judge, having reviewed the evidence adduced by both the prosecution and the defence, concluded that the prosecution failed to prove successfully, any of the charge preferred against the men and accordingly discharged and acquitted them.
Specifically, the three men were allegedly armed with wood and cutlass to rob one Oyewunmi Adetona of the sum N35, 000, electronics and other household property.

They were also accused of robbing one Theophilus Akano of the sum of N2, 000.00 on July 11, 2000.
While reviewing the case of the prosecution, Justice Oyewole noted discrepancies and contradictions in the testimonies of the police investigators who handed the matter.

Though the court held that there was robbery incident in the area mentioned, going by the evident in the testimonies of the two victims, Theophilus Akano (PW1) and Oyewunmi Sikiru (PW2), the court declared that the prosecution failed to establish the link between the accused persons and the crime.
According to Justice Oyewole, the alleged victims did not identity any of the accused persons as among those that carried out the robbery incident in which they were victims.

“From the evidence before the court, it was clear that the robbers interacted long enough with their victims and they were not lying flat all through the incident, a situation which would have made them to be able to identity the suspects.” The court said.

In addition, the court noted that the accused were not arrested at the scene nor any incriminating object found on them at the time of their arrest.

On the probative value of the accused confessional statements, the court held that confessional statement could be used to secure conviction if and when freely obtained.
Consequently, it was held that, in the absence of other collaborative evidence, the alleged confessional statements could not be relied upon to convict the accused persons.

Similarly, the purported claim that one of the accused had a gunshot wound on his back from another robbery operation could not hold water as the court held that there was no evidence that any medical check was conducted on the accused to determine the veracity of the claim. Indeed, the court held that there was nothing before the court to show that the scar on the accused’s back was from a gunshot.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.