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.
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.
36 State Governments Take FG To Supreme Court Over Court Funding
The 36 states of the Federation on Monday took the Federal Government to the Supreme Court, challenging the presidential executive order signed in May by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The states are seeking an order of the Supreme Court to quash President Buhari’s executive order on the funding of courts, which he signed on May 20.
According to the states, Buhari’s executive order no. 00-10 of 2020 transferred the Federal Government’s responsibility of funding both the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state High Courts, Sharia Courts of Appeal, and the Customary Courts of Appeal, to the state governments.
They are contending that the order is a clear violation of sections 6 and 8(3) of the 1999 constitution, which makes it the responsibility of the federal government to fund the listed courts.
The 36 states, while claiming that they had been funding the capital projects in the listed courts since 2009, are also asking the Supreme Court to order the Federal Government to make a refund to them.
The suit was filed for the states by nine Senior Advocates of Nigeria, led by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh.
Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami was listed as the sole respondent in the suit.
Appeal Court Declines To Join Factional ANDP In Gov. Diri’s Appeal
A move by a factional group of the Advanced Nigerian Democratic Party (ANDP) to join in Governor Douye Diri’s appeal against the judgment of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday, suffered a setback as the Court of Appeal in Abuja dismissed their request for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
Governor Diri had, last month, approached the appellate court to set aside the majority judgment of the tribunal which nullified the November 16, 2019, Bayelsa governorship election that brought him to power.
The nullification was predicated on the petition of the candidate of the ANDP in the November 16 governorship poll, Mr Lucky King-George, against his exclusion from the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The majority decision had upheld his argument that he was unlawfully excluded from the poll and subsequently ordered INEC to conduct a fresh poll in the state within 90 days.
However, when the matter came up on Monday, a lawyer, Mr Dominic Anyiador, announced appearance for the factional group led by its Chairman, Mr James Femowei, and drew the court’s attention to their application seeking to be joined as an interested party in the appeal filed by Governor Diri.
The applicants, which include the ANDP’s National Vice-Chairman, South-east, Barnabas Nwanguma; National Publicity Secretary, Fortune Oyadonghan; National Director NGO/Volunteers, Fred Ikhaghu; and Director Admin/Records, Linda Nyam, claimed to be the authentic faction of the ANDP.
They told the appellate court that they were unaware of the petition filed by the party challenging Diri’s election at the tribunal.
The applicants disclosed that the party did not conduct any primary election or fielded candidates for the governorship election, hence, their adoption and endorsement of Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, as its preferred candidates in the election.
They also claimed that Charles Ogboli, the national chairman of the party, who filed the petition, was expelled in 2018.
“The 1st respondent (ANDP) as a political party endorsed and adopted his excellency Senator Douye Diri and his deputy Lawrence Erhujakpor as its gubernatorial candidates in the said November 16, 2019 gubernatorial election conducted by the 3rd (INEC) respondent in Bayelsa State,” the application stated.
“The judgment of the lower court nullifying the election of the governor of Bayelsa State came to the interested parties and other members of the 1st respondent as a rude shock reason being that they were/are not aware of any pending suit by the 1st respondent against the governor of Bayelsa State bordering on his election held on the November 16, 2019.
“It was later learnt by the interested parties/other members of the 1st respondent that it was the sacked and expelled national chairman of the 1st respondent barrister Charles Ogboli that instituted the petition at the tribunal against the governor of Bayelsa State purportedly on behalf of the 1st respondent and its members,” their lawyer told the appellate court.
But in a quick objection, the lawyer to the Ogboli-led ANDP, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the application on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction to take the motion not being an election matter but inter-party affair.
He also said the applicants cannot be joined to the suit at the appeal stage because they were not parties at the tribunal.
Also, Ogunwumiju said the applicants had failed to seek the leave of court before filing their application.
In a short ruling, a three-man panel of Justices led by Stephen Adah dismissed the request for joinder.
Adah said the application is “irrelevant, prejudicial and waste of judicial time”.
The court also ordered the applicants to pay N200,000 to each of the appellants as well as the respondents in the suit.
The court then adjourned till September 23 for hearing of all pending motions in the appeal.
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