January 28, 2020

Offa Robbery: Absence of prosecution witness stalls continuation of hearing

Offa Robbery: Absence of prosecution witness stalls continuation of hearing

Offa robbery suspects

Offa robbery suspects

By Demola Akinyemi – Ilorin

The trial judge in the ongoing trial of suspects in Offa bank robbery, Justice Haleema Salman of an Ilorin high court yesterday expressed anger over the 4continued delay in the trial by the prosecution witnesses.

All the suspects were however present in court.

She, therefore, warned both parties against continuous delay and ensure that they are present in the next adjournment date.

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Recall that on April 8, 2018 gang of dare-devil armed robbers in a coordinated attack on some banks in Offa, carted away millions of naira, and killed several people including a pregnant woman and police officers.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecution counsel, Bola Gold, told the court that police officers who are the prosecution witnesses in the matter were on national assignment for the last Saturday rerun elections in some parts of the country and had not returned to their base.

In view of this, he, therefore, sought an adjournment, which the defense counsel, Mathias Emeribe, did not oppose.

In granting the adjournment, the trial judge Haleema Salman, warned both the defense and prosecuting counsels against unnecessary delay in the hearing of the matter.

She expressed dissatisfaction that no appreciable progress had been made in the hearing of the case since 2018 when it started due to requests for adjournments by the counsels.

The judge said that both counsels should be prepared to end the trial within a trial in the next adjourned date so that hearing proper in the suit could commence the same day.

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She said,” both parties should consult and ensure that you are present in the next adjournment date, so that hearing proper could commence and we can dispose of this case”

She subsequently adjourned the case to February 10, 2020.

Speaking with journalists after court proceedings, counsel to both parties assured of their preparedness to ensure speedy disposal of the matter.