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You have case to answer, DPP tells armed robbery suspects

By Joseph Onyekwere
13 September 2022   |   3:54 am
The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has established a case of armed robbery against suspected members of a gang arraigned before Chief Magistrate P. E. Nwaka sitting in Yaba, Lagos.

Gavel PHOTO: iStock

The Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has established a case of armed robbery against suspected members of a gang arraigned before Chief Magistrate P. E. Nwaka sitting in Yaba, Lagos.

An advice by the DPP to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Department of Finance & Administration, Zone 2 Command Headquarter, said after painstaking analysis of the facts contained in the duplicate case file, the defendants have a case to answer.

A copy of the Legal Advice was also sent to the trial Magistrate. The DPP advice, which was presented in court, was signed by the DPP, Dr. Babajide Martins, on behalf of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State.

The legal advice showed that a prima facie case was established against some of the defendants. During the proceedings, the prosecutor informed the court that the legal advice from the DPP indicated that the defendants have a case to answer, and that the magistrate court has no jurisdiction to entertain such an offence.

The DPP said: “I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter with Reference Number CB 3514/ZN 2/X/LEGAL/Z2MU/VOL01/182 dated August 19, 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 Lagos State, 2015…”

The Nigerian Police Zone 2 Command Headquarters had arraigned the suspects before a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Yaba, Lagos.

During their arraignment, prosecuting counsel, 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.

He informed the court that the suspects armed with guns allegedly stole 16 drums of Starlight, 96 Core Optic Fibre Cables valued N80 million, 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.

Ruling on their bail applications, Chief Magistrate P.E. Nwaka, admitted the 1st defendant to bail in the sum of N200,000 with three sureties in like sum.

The court also granted the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th defendants bail in the sum of N500,000 with three sureties in like sum and three years tax clearance.

While the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th 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 said that the only nexus of the 1st defendant to the entire charge was that monies were received in her Zenith bank account which were proceeds of crime.

However, the Court did not take the plea of 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants because the Court lacks jurisdiction over their matter.

Magistrate Nwaka held 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 DPP for advice.
O.O. Ogunleye appeared for the complainant as counsel holding a brief.