A Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area has sentenced two men, Kingsley Baba and Bashiru Musa, to 21 years imprisonment each each for robbery.
Justice Adedayo Akintoye, who delivered the judgment via virtual proceedings, found the two defendants guilty of robbing their boss, Mrs Olutosin Abiola Oshinowo, at Ikoyi, Lagos.
In 2017, The Lagos State Government arraigned the defendants in on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy and armed robbery.
The court heard that the duo and others at large robbed two people, Mrs Olutosin Abiola Oshinowo and one Desmond Wester while armed with offensive weapons and stole a laptop, cash, jewellery and an ATM card.
The offences were said to have been committed in December 8, 2015, at about 3:30am at No.10 Samuel Oloje St., Purview Estate, Ajah, Lagos.
The defendants were arrested by the police and had been in custody since 2015.
According to the prosecutor, the offences, contravened Sections 295(2)and 297 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The duo however pleaded not guilty and were remanded at a correctional centre, following which trial commenced.
In the judgment, Justice Akintoye held that the evidence of three prosecution witnesses established that a robbery was committed on December 8, 2015.
“The evidence before the court substantiated that a robbery took place but not armed robbery.
“In this case there was no eye witness account to the offence of armed robbery as none of the prosecution witnesses saw the defendants with any weapon.
“Section 166 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) provides that a person charged with an offence can be convicted and punished with another offence as if he was charged with that offence.
“If a defendant did not take part in armed robbery but took part in robbery, he will be convicted on Section 295(1) and not Section 295(2) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State.
“The question here is whether the defendants took part in the robbery.
“The evidence before the court is that the second defendant (Musa) claimed to be asleep when the robbery took place despite the loud noises.
“I find it hard to believe that the second defendant slept all through the entire commotion, doors were broken and gun shots heard.
“The investigating police office gave evidence that it was Musa who asked the first defendant (Baba) and others at large that they should try to rob his madam.
“It is my opinion that Musa did act in a manner to enable others to commit robbery.
“Also the confessional statement of the first defendant (Baba) stated that Musa aided in the robbery.
“The prosecution sufficiently linked the second defendant to the commission of the robbery.
“I hold that the second defendant is guilty of robbing Mrs Olutosin Abiola Oshinowo,” Akintoye said.
The judge also held that the prosecution could not prove the offence of robbery or armed robbery against the second defendant in count three with regard to armed robbery against one Desmond Wester.
She said that the prosecution, however, proved the offence of conspiracy to commit robbery against the first and second defendants.
She said evidence before the court stated that prior before the robbery, PW2(Victim) stated that she has seen the first and second defendants together in front of her house smoking Indian hemp.
The judge also said that the first defendant admitted in his statement that he discussed the robbery with the second defendant and one Emmanuel and Bright still at large.
“To my mind the complicity in the robbery has been established and the conspiracy to commit the robbery has also been established.
“The second defendant Bashiru Musa is found guilty of count two of robbery contrary to Section 295(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 and he is not guilty of count three alone.
“The defendants are hereby convicted.
“I therefore sentence the first and second defendants on count one to 21 years imprisonment each, less their period of remand.
“The second defendant is sentenced to 21 years imprisonment on count two, less his period of remand. The sentence leveled on the second defendant shall run concurrently.
“On count three the second defendant is found not guilty. This is the sentence of this court,” Akintoye held.
Judiciary Workers Suspend Strike, After More Than Two Months
The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has suspended its industrial action after over two months.
The union had embarked on the strike on April 6, shutting down all courts nationwide, to demand financial autonomy for the judiciary in states.
JUSUN’s suspension of the strike followed a meeting of its national executive council (NEC) held in Abuja on Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the National Judicial Council (NJC) and members of JUSUN met with a view to finding a lasting solution to the lingering strike.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, and other stakeholders during the interface, lamented that the strike had affected the Judiciary in particular and the nation at large and therefore sought a way to resolve the lingering issue.
JUSUN Deputy President, Emmanuel Abiri who briefed the Council on behalf of the executive members of the association, explained that the grouse of the union was that despite the Constitutional Provision of Sections 81 (3), 121 (3), 162 (9) and the judgement delivered since 2015 in favour of JUSUN, the Executive Order 10 of 2020 and the agreement reached between the union, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the governors have refused to yield financial autonomy to the State Judiciary.
Abiri that the union’s other grievances include; non-payment of peculiar allowance for judiciary staff; the attempt by the Kaduna State Governor to place the State judiciary under its civil service and scheming for a State Judicial Council.
He posited that the Nigeria Governors’ Forum was merely playing politics with the Constitution and had also failed to remit the one-month payment agreed on at the end of May as a demonstration of their good faith.
Mr. Abiri noted that if the Forum could renege in fulfilling its promise at the end of the month of May, there was no guarantee that it would not in June. He, therefore, requested that the Accountant-General of the Federation be directed to deduct from source the amount meant for the Judiciary before the Union could call off the strike.
Lawyer Who Filed Suit Against 50 EndSars Protesters In Court For Impersonation
Court To Hear Suit Challenging Lagos Ban Of Motorcycles, Tricycles On Dec 15
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed December 15 to hear a suit seeking the reversal of the ban placed by the Lagos State Government on the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles, popularly known as Okada and Keke Marwa.
A Lagos-based lawyer, Julius Ajibulu, who filed the suit said the ban on okada and keke Marwa, without a replacement or an alternative means of transportation, had subjected Lagosians to untold hardship and taken away the source of livelihood of the operators.
The lawyer claimed that the ban had led to massive unemployment and an escalation in the rate of crime and insecurity in the state due to loss of jobs.
He said the ban further violated his fundamental rights and those of other Lagosians under sections 33, 34, 36, 38, 41 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution.
Ajibulu is asking the court to order “the immediate resumption of commercial operations and activities of tricyles (Keke NAPEP/ Marwa) and motorcycles (okada) of 50cc-200cc capacity engine on the above stated highways and expressways through the aforesaid bridges in 15 local government and local development council areas of Lagos State.”
He is also seeking damages in the sum of N1bn as well as a public apology in newspapers.
The suit is the second lawsuit seeking the reversal of the Lagos State Government’s ban on okada and Keke Marwa.
Another lawyer, Olukoya Ogungbeje, had earlier filed a suit before the same court on the same issue.
In his suit before Justice Mohammed Liman, Ogungbeje is seeking a declaration that “the forceful impounding, seizure or confiscation of motorcycles and tricycles” by agents of the Lagos State Government amounted to an infringement on the right of residents to own property under sections 43 and 44 of the Constitution.”
The Lagos State Government had in February proscribed both motorcycles and tricycles in six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state.
In a statement issued on January, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, said that the riders must not ply 10 major highways and 40 bridges and flyovers across the state.
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