Offa Bank Robbery: Suspects’ Trial Stalled Over Security Concerns
A Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, Thursday, abruptly adjourned the resumed trial of Offa bank robbery suspects, citing security concerns.
The trial had gone on for five hours, before the trial judge, Halima Salman, adjourned the hearing till Friday.
The continuation of the trial of the five suspects had an initial delay on Thursday due to the late arrival of the lead prosecution counsel, Wahab Egbewole.
The police witness, Hassan Attila told the court how the five accused persons were arrested and taken to the police headquarters in Abuja.
At a point the court had a break to inspect the Lexus Jeep allegedly used by the suspects to rob the banks.
The defense counsel, Mathias Emeribe, during cross examination of the police witness, claimed that the statements of the suspects were not taken voluntarily.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Halimat Salman, had said during the court proceeding at about past 2 p.m that “reports reaching us are not favourable for the continuation of the case today. I don’t have anything doing but the court had to rise for the case to continue tomorrow”.
“For the security of the suspects and all of us here, I have to rise. May God spare our lives till tomorrow for the continuation of hearing.”
After about 5 hours of grilling and cross examination, the trial judge, Halima Salman had to bring the trial to a halt.
Meanwhile in his statement the evidence-in-chief, Inspector Hassan said the confessional statement of the first suspect (Ayoade Akinnibosun) indicted the Chief of Staff to Kwara State Government, Babatunde Abdulwahab; Political Adviser to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, LekanAlabi, and one Adeola Omiyale.
He added that the first suspect alleged that he got the AK47 rifles allegedly used in the robbery incident from the above people, saying that informed their arrest by the police high command in Abuja.
Hassan, who said he is an inspector of police attached to the Intelligence Response Team of the former Inspector General of Police, added that it is headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari.
Hassan added that he supervised the recording of the confessional statements of Ibikunle Ogunleye (2nd accused person) and Adeola Abraham (3rd accuse person), adding that he helped write those of the first accused(Akinnibosun) and 5th accused person (Niyi Ogundiran) and he countersigned as the writer.
The five suspects, Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran are standing trial over the 5th of April, 2018 bank robbery in Offa where more than 30 persons including policemen were killed.
The trial continues on Friday.