Offa robberies: Prosecution blames witness’ absence on Zamfara crisis

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Lead prosecution counsel in the Offa robbery case, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, SAN, on Thursday told a Kwara State High Court that the security crisis in Zamfara State prevented a police witness in the Offa robbery trial from being present in court.
Egbewole told the trial judge, Justice Halima Salman, at the resumed trial of the April 5, Offa robbery case in Kwara State that the prosecution witness who was on a special duty in Zamfara could not be present in court to testify.
Five accused persons were facing trial in the robbery case described as the bloodiest in the country’s history of robbery as 33 persons including nine policemen were allegedly killed in the attack.
The five accused persons, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salahudeen Azeez, and Niyi Ogundiran, are standing trial on five count charges of criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, possession of firearms and armed robbery.
When the case came up for hearing before Justice Salman, the prosecuting lawyer said security crisis in Zamfara had prevented the prosecution witness from being in Ilorin for the case.
He sought for adjournment, which was not objected to by the defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe.
Justice Salman adjourned the case till June 6 and 7, 2019 for further hearing
Recall that Justice Salman had on April 8, 2019 adjourned ruling on the admissibility of the five accused confessional statements to a later date.
The prosecution and defence counsels had argued on the admissibility of the accused confessional statements as the defence counsel maintained that the statements were obtained under duress and should not be admitted in evidence by the court.
The court however admitted in evidence the medical examination report on the wounds allegedly inflicted on the suspects during interrogation by the police.
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