A case of armed robbery against suspected members of a robbery gang arraigned before a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Yaba, Lagos, has been established by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
This position was disclosed through the Legal Advice addressed to the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Department of Finance & Administration, Zone 2 Command Headquarters.
The Legal Advice which was presented before the court by the State Director of Public Prosecution, Dr. Babajide Martins, on behalf of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), indicated that the suspects have a case to answer.
It reads: “I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter with Reference Number CB 3514/ZN 2/X/LEGAL/Z2MU/ VOL01/182 dated 19th August, 2022 and the accompanying duplicate case file forwarded to this office for Legal Advice.
“After a careful consideration of the facts contained in the duplicate case file, this office is of the view that there are sufficient facts to establish offences of Conspiracy to Commit Robbery, and Armed Robbery: contrary to Sections 299, and 297(2) of the Criminal Law, Ch C.17, Vol.3, Laws of L Lagos State, 2015 against Page B9—Sunday Alabogu (M), Page B12—Sylvester Nwajagu, and PAGE B16—Felix Onyema.
Receiving Stolen Property contrary to Section 328 of the Criminal Law against PAGE B5 – Nnailo Celestine & PAGE B9 – Onu Obinna, while Transfer of criminal proceeds to Nominee contrary to Section 333 of the Criminal Law against PAGE 87—Blessing Felix.
“Page B1 (Emmanuel Bassey), Page 3—Innocent Akabueze, Page B4 (Ejimofor Pius Chukwuma) Odo Vincent Chinedu, Onyedika Vincent, Nwajagu David, Ogunrinde Francis Femi, Akintunde Saheed and Utaegbulem Jerry T should be released if in police custody as no prima facie case has been established against them.”
The DPP further advised the police to intensify efforts in ensuring that ‘Jungle’ and others involved in the robbery are apprehended and prosecuted. It would be recalled that the Zone 2 Command Headquarters of the Nigerian Police had arraigned the suspects before a Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Yaba, Lagos.
The suspects, who were arraigned before Chief Magistrate P. E. Nwaka, are Blessing Felix Onyema (F), Sunday Alabogu, Sylvester Nwajagu (M), Celestine Nnailo (M), Obinna Onu (M), Onyedika Vincent (M), and Odo Vincent Chinedu. During their arraignment, counsel for the prosecution, Williams Ologun, told the court that the suspects unlawfully conspired among themselves to commit Felony to wit robbery and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 299 and punishable under Section 297 (2) (a) (b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
The prosecution lawyer further notified the court that the suspects armed with guns allegedly stole sixteen drums of Starlight, 96 Core Optic Fibre Cables valued at N80,000,000 (Eighty Million Naira) property of Jus Partners Cosmopolitan Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 296 and punishable under Section 297(1)(2}(a)(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria 2015.
But the suspects had pleaded not guilty to the charge made against them by the police, prompting Chief Magistrate Nwaka to admit the 1st defendant to bail in the sum of N200,000 with three sureties in like sum. The Chief Magistrate also granted the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 with 3 sureties in like sum and three years tax clearance.
While the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th defendants are admitted to bail, they are all to report on every 2nd and 4th Mondays at Zone 2, Onikan Lagos. Chief Magistrate Nwaka, while reviewing the case file declared that the only nexus of the 1st defendant to the entire charge was that monies were received in her bank account which were proceeds of crime.
However, the court did not take the plea of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants because it lacks jurisdiction over the matter. Magistrate Nwaka had ruled that the 2nd and 3rd defendants are to be remanded in prison facility for the first 30 days pending the duplication of the case file at the office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution for advice.