Absence of the principal suspect in the Offa robbery trial yesterday stalled the beginning of trial of other suspects at the Ilorin High Court in Kwara State.
Suspected robbers on April 15 attacked banks at Offa in Offa Local Government area of the state, killing many people.
The prosecution, represented by Kwara State Attorney-General and Justice Commissioner Kamaldeen Ajibade (SAN), told the court that he got information from the police high command that the principal suspect, Michael Adikwu, is dead.
Five of the accused persons in court yesterday included Ayoade Adebosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Niyi Ogundiran, Saliu Azeez and Adeola Abraham.
The suspects, who said they were served evidence of charge sheet on Monday, added that as a result, they could not meet their lawyers for representation.
The sheet contains exhibits, suspects’ statements and government’s witnesses.
Giving reasons why the trial would not continue, Ajibade said: “There are two complaints. One, the suspects do not have legal representation; two, we were informed by the police headquarters in Abuja that the first accused, Michael Adikwu, is dead.
“Taking a look at the case’s dairy, we discovered that there is a statement from the first accused person. I directed the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to contact the force headquarters and he spoke with one Abba Kiyari and he told us that the first accused person is dead.
“In this circumstance, we are constrained to amend the charge to remove his name from the charge sheet. We are, therefore, applying for a short adjournment. We will write the police requesting for evidence of Adikwu’s death.”
Ruling, Justice Halima Salman urged the Legal Aide Council to come to the assistance of the accused persons for legal representation.
She said there was no evidence of the first suspect’s death before her court.
Justice Salman said the court is determined to give the case accelerated hearing
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