Court sentences cleric to 14 years imprisonment for attempted robbery
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja yesterday sentenced an Islamic cleric, Taofeek Olawale, to 14 years imprisonment for attempted robbery. Justice Raliat Adebiyi gave the sentence after he was found guilty on the two-count charge of conspiracy and attempted armed robbery filed against him by the state government.
Olawale has been in prison custody since 2012. Delivering judgment, Adebiyi held that that the prosecution proved his case of attempted robbery against the defendant.
“The witness told the court that the defendant was wearing a white garment when he was caught in the night of the incident, a claim that was corroborated by the defendant who affirmed that he was wearing a white caftan that night.
“The defendant was also at the scene of the crime with the witness who is also the victim identifying him,” she ruled and sentenced him to 14 years imprisonment on both charges.
During the trial, the convict had insisted that he was innocent when he told the court that he had gone to Lakowe Junction on May 6,2012, to offer sacrifices on behalf of one of his clients.
“I live at Lakowe. On the day of the incident around 12 am, I had gone to the T-junction at Lakowe dressed in a white caftan to offer sacrifices on behalf of my client who was having spiritual problems.
“It was while I was chanting incantations that someone suddenly appeared with a cutlass and struck me on the head. I lost consciousness only to wake up and find myself in the Lagos State Teaching Hospital,” he said.
But the complainant, Jephpta Ekwueme who was the only prosecution witness told the court that on the day of the incident he was lying in bed when someone shone a torch through his window and commanded him to open the door.
“I heard more than one voice commanding me to open the door to my apartment that they were armed robbers. “I grabbed a cutlass and swung it through the window and it hit one of them. They ran away and I opened the door and shouted for my neighbours help. I pursued one of them who happened to be the defendant who I had injured with the cutlass. He wore a long white garment.
“He ran into the next compound and I followed him there. I managed to subdue him until the police arrived,” he narrated.
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