By BARTHOLOMEW MADUKWE
AN Igbosere Magistrate Court in Lagos has remanded two robbery suspects in prison custody pending the legal advice from the State Director of Public Prosecutions, after they were arraigned for breaking into the vault of a bank in Apapa area of Lagos State.
The accused, Julius Osai and Francis Ojie, security guards at the bank who allegedly invited a 13-man robbery gang to raid the bank have been charged with armed robbery, while others are still at large.
Chieftain of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, at Boundary area of Ajegunle, Lagos, who had been on the run since the foiled robbery attack, was said to have masterminded the robbery.
The charge reads: “That you Julius Osai and Francis Ojie and others still at large sometime in the month of October 2011 in the Lagos Magisterial District while armed with offensive weapons did break into the vault of a bank at Apapa.”
According to the prosecutor, DSP Suban Ezema, who stood in for DSP Odion Akhaine, the offence contravenes Section 66, 1 (2) (b) of the Robbery and Fire Arms (Special Provision) Act, Cap E11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Ezema presented an application under Section 264(11) of the Administration of Criminal Justice of Lagos State, 2011 for the remand of the defendants in prison custody because the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter.
She informed the presiding Magistrate, Mrs. A. A. Famobiwo that her office has duplicated the case file and sent it to the office of the Lagos State Directorate of Public Prosecution, SDPP, to give legal advice for the prosecution of the matter at the High Court.
Famobiwo subsequently ordered that the defendants be remanded in prison custody pending the legal advice from the SDPP and adjourned the matter till April 29, 2012 for mention.