Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja has admitted as exhibits two Nigerian Armed Forces camouflages used by a dismissed soldier from the Nigerian Army; Mohammed Sanni and Umar Kabiru to alledgedly robbed one Phillip Agbe in the Ikorodu area of Lagos.
Also a knife alledgedly used by the two defendants was among the exhibits admitted by the trial judge tendered by the Nigerian Police in court in Wednesday.
The defendants were said to have robbed Phillip Agbe while armed with a knife of N20,000 while wearing military uniforms on 3rd December, 2019 at about 0300hours at Obanikoro in Ikorodu road, Lagos.
The defendants are standing trial for conspiracy, armed robbery and falsely representing themselves as military personnel.
They were charged to court on three count offences bordering conspiracy, armed robbery and impersonation by the Lagos State Government.
At the continuation trial, a Police Inspector Shedrach Eharbor while being led in evidence by State Prosecutor, Adebanke Ogunde informed the court that both defendants; Mohammed Sanni and Umar Kabiru robbed the complainant while dressed in army camouflage with knife dispossed one Phillip Agbe of his money.
According to him, the knife was recovered from Kabiru Umar, he was halved-dressed with camoflague, tee-shirt and a trouser, while Mohammed Sanni (the first defendant) was completely dressed with army camoflague.
The Police prosecution witness said, “My lord, investigation revealed that on the 3rd December, 2019, they were supposed to be three suspects.
He identified one of the suspects this way, “Mohammed Sanni was a deserter since the month of May, 2018.
He noted that Kabiru (the second defendant) was never a member of the Nigeria Airforce based on the letter we wrote to them.
He said the suspects specialises in dispossessing occupants of broken down trucks.
According to a charge sighted by CASEFILE, “Mohammed Sanni (M) Umar Kabiru (M) Haruna Ahmed (M) are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery contrary to Section 299 of the Criminal Law, Ch. C17, Vol. 3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
The charge against the suspects also stated, “Mohammed Sanni (M), Umar Kabiru (M) and Haruna Ahmed ( M) on or about the 3rd day of December, 2019 at about 0300hours at Obanikoro Area, Ikorodu road Lagos, in the Ikeja Judicial Division did conspire to commit robbery.
Part of the charge also stated that: “Mohammed Sanni (M), Umar Kabiru (M) and Haruna Ahmed ( M) on or about the 3rd day of December, 2019 at about 0300hours at Obanikoro in Ikorodu road Lagos, in the Ikeja Judicial Division whilst armed with a knife robbed one Phillip Agbe (M) of the sum of N20,000,00 (Twenty Thousand Naira) only, an offence contrary to Section 297(2) (a) of the Criminal Law, Ch. C17, Lagos State, 2015.
While count three reads that Mohammed Sanni (M), Umar Kabiru (M) and Haruna Ahmed on or about the 3rd day of December, 2019 at about 0300hours at Obanikoro Area, Ikorodu road Lagos, in the Ikeja Judicial Division whilst in Army Camouflage falsely represented yourselves as Military Personnel, an offence contrary to Section 77 of the Criminal Law, Ch. C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.
Under cross-examination, counsel to the first defendant, Olakanmi Omoyemi asked which police station the defendant were arrested and taken to, the witness said it was Shomolu Police Station.
Eharbor explained further,”Immediately they were arrested, the transfered them from Shomolu Police Station.
“There was no case file at Shomolu because of the urgency of the matter.
He said the suspects had to be transfered because the Police feared there could be a reprisal as he claimed the suspects were presumed to be military personnel.
The second defendant counsel, Mr. Babajimi Ayorinde, asked the prosecution witness, “Were you present when the alledged robbery took place?
He responded: No.
Did you see the second defendant with a knife?
He replied: I was not at the scene if the crime.
The witness however narrated how the police got the exhibits. He said, “The suspects and the exhibits were transferred from Shomolu Police Station at about 5000hours in the morning before I resumed duty on that day.
“Immediately, they discovered that they were military personnel they were transferred to Panti immediately.
“Mohammed Sanni confirmed that when Kabiru Umar saw the Police he took to chase. This was what I was told by Mohammed Sanni and Haruna Ahmed,” the Police Inspector said.
He said this happened when he resumed at his post.
He also said that he recorded the statement of the second defendant because he had told him he could not write.
But Mr. Ayorinde asked him if he inserted the word, ‘dagger’ into the defendant’s statement, he responded that he wrote down what the suspect told him.
He however admitted that the defendants lawyers were not present when he was recording their statements.
He said the station lacked audio and video facility to record the defendant’s statement.
He was asked why he wrote a statement for the defendant, he replied, ‘He said he could not write’.
But the counsel probed that when the first defendant said he could not write, how come the defendant wrote his name at the end of the statement?
The witness explained that despite the fact that he said he attended secondary school, he said he could not write but thumbprinted and I had to initial it with Right Hand Thumb Print, RHTP.
Meanwhile, the trial judge has admitted certified true copies of the victim’s statement and of both defendants.
Meanwhile, one of the suspects whose name appeared on the charge sheet, Haruna Ahmed was said to have been trialed and dismissed from the Nigerian Army.
Justice Abike-Fadipe however adjourned till April 11 and 12 for continuation of trial.