By Onozure Dania
Five men, were yesterday remanded in Police custody by a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, over alleged armed robbery and murder, after their arraignment.
The defendants are Lateef Yusuf Olarinde, Lateef Olarinde, Sanni Olarinde, Ayomide Babtunde Lateef and Kazeem Sadiku.
Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Igihile ordered that they should be remanded at the Special Anti- Robbery Cell, pending when they can be remanded at the Correctional Facility Centre.
They are facing 10 count charge bordering on conspiracy, robbery, armed robbery, grievous harm, unlawful take over of landed property, murder and unlawful possession of firearms, preferred against them by Lagos State government.
The defendants whose occupation and residential addresses were not given were docked before Justice Okikiolu-Igihile.
The charge was read and interpreted to the fourth and fifth defendants in Yoruba, who said they do not understand the English language.
Lagos State Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, told the court that the defendants and others still at large, committed the offences, while armed with guns and other dangerous weapons.
Onigbanjo said that the offences occurred between January 29, 2018, and July 18, 2020, at 468, Old Ojo Road, Satellite Town, Lagos.
He said that the defendants and others now at large conspired to commit robbery.
The Attorney-General said that the first to the fourth defendants while armed with a knife and a cutlass, robbed one Mr Cosmos Madueke of two office generators and two sets of importer leather seats.
Other items are one furniture spraying machine, motorcycles belonging to the security men, imported Church piano, motor forklift batteries and 259 inverter batteries worth N15million.
He also alleged that the defendants on February 7, 2018, at the aforementioned address, unlawfully caused grievous harm to Cosmos Madueke aged 57, by smashing the base of a rile on his head and inflicting degrees of injuries on his body.
“The first to fourth defendants, and others at large on the same date and place also unlawfully caused grievous harm to one Barrister Gerald Chukwudike aged 52, by inflicting degrees of injuries on his body,” The AG said.
The prosecuting counsel, further told the court that the first to fourth defendants and others still at large, on or about August 1, 2018, around Wosbab depot, Satellite Town, unlawfully killed one Busari Ramoni, by shooting him in the head.
He said the fifth defendant, Kazeem Sadiku and others at large, sometimes in 2018, at Oguntedo Village, Satellite Town, Lagos, unlawfully took over a parcel of land whilst armed with guns and other dangerous weapons.
Onigbanjo said,” The first to fourth defendants and others at large, on or about February 28, 2020, around Ile-Epo Bus Stop, Satellite Town, unlawfully killed one Azeez Shonibare by stabbing him with knives and different sharp objects all over his body”.
According to the prosecutor, on July 18, 2020, at Medlog Estate, Satellite Town, Lagos, the first to fourth defendants while armed with cutlasses, guns and other dangerous weapons robbed one Mustapha Lawal of his Tecno Spark phone worth N65,000.
The defendants were also accused of causing Lawal grievous bodily harm, by shooting him and inflicting degrees of injuries on his body.
Onogbanjo said that the defendants unlawfully had in their possession, three expanded Cartridges in circumstance reasonably indicating that is with intent to commit robbery.
The offences are contrary to and punishable under Sections 299, 297 (2) (a) 245, 233, 2(3) 298 (3) 4, of the Criminal law of Lagos State 2015.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of the defendants’ plea, the AG, urged the court to remand them in the Police custody.
He said ” Going by the current situation we find ourselves, the pandemic, all the defendants should be quarantined for 14 days before they would be sent to the correctional facilities.
” They have to undergo Covid-19 test and if they test negative, they would be sent to the appropriate correctional facilities”.
The defendants’ counsel Mr Lekan
Egberungbe said sending the defendants to police custody, instead of the correctional facilities, at this point over Covid- 19, is ridiculous, as the defendants were remanded at Special Anti-robbery cell, for over a month, without observing the safety measure.
“No 14 days quarantine before they were hauled into the cell. Justice must be seen to be served that is our humble submission”, He said.
The case was adjourned till August 20, for trial.
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