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Offa robbery suspects arraigned as counsel announces withdrawal

By Demola Akinyemi
ILORIN – Five persons suspected to be involved in the April 15th, 2018 bank ‎robbery and killings in Offa, Offa local government area of Kwara state were Wednesday arraigned before an Ilorin Magistrate Court.

Second in command of Offa Bank robbery, Ibikunle Ogunleye paraded by Police Public Relation Officer Jimoh Moshood and Commander of IRT, DCP Abba Kyari during press Conference at Police Headquarters Abuja yesterday. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan

Also,counsel to the accused,Abdulrasheed Lawal in the court announced his withdrawal from further representing them .

Recall that during the robbery,thirty one persons including a pregnant women and two police officers were killed while several millions of naira were carted away by the robbery gang.

Before yesterday arraignment of the robbery suspects,Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and the Senate president,Dr Bukola Saraki were reportedly indicted by the statements of suspects, a development the duo vehemently denied.

During the sitting, the court said that the Offa robbery suspects have
case to answer.

Earlier, the Kwara state police command OC Legal Kunle Iwalaiye said the case was for mention and consideration of the Kwara state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP)’s letter.

Mr. Iwalaiye added that suspects had cases to answer in the DPP’s Advice AUST/LED14/V140/1457/738 and dated 11th of November, 2018.

OC legal, who was represented by Prosecutor ASP Abdulkadir said that “in this circumstance the accused persons have cases to answer. We are asking for another date for further mention in which they must have been properly arraigned before a court.”

He said that the DPP also directed the police to carry out more investigation with a view to arresting more of the suspects that are on the run.

Counsel to the accused Abulrasheed Lawal however announced his withdrawal from the case based on legal misconception.

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According to him, “On our part we have a letter before the court dated 21st of October, 2018. The letter is as a result of a misconception of the legal representation of all the accused persons by Abdulwahab Bamidele
“The letter is seeking the leave of the court to withdraw the appearance of Abdulwahab Bamidele (Esq) as counsel representing all the accused in this case. And also my humble self holding the brief of Abdulwahab bamidele from the record of the court.

“The same letter has been copied to OC legal, Kwara state police Command and Abdulwahab Bamidele. In the circumstance we want the court to discountenance with the names of both Bamidele and Lawal from appearing for all the accused persons in this case.”

In his short ruling, Magistrate Bio Salihu granted the prayers of the accused persons counsel and ordered the discountenance of their appearance in the case.

He equally directed the police to take necessary action for the proper arraignment of the accused persons in court.

Magistrate Saliu subsequently adjourned the case to December 6th for mention.

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