Thursday, 19 April 2018

Offa bank robbery: Hotelier, staff charged to court

Proprietor of the hotel where suspected robbers that stormed banks and killed many people a fortnight ago in Offa, Kwara State, lodged before launching their attack has been charged to court.

The hotelier was arraigned before a magistrate’s court in Ilorin, the state capital, alongside some members of staff of the hotel for alleged conspiracy in the criminal act of the robbers.

Staff of the hotel arraigned were the accountant, a receptionist, a room keeper and a clubhouse operator.

Also arraigned were four lodgers who were staying in the hotel at the time the suspects also lodged there.

They were arraigned on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence and giving false information to screen an offender.

The police said the offences contravened sections 97 and 167 of the Penal Code Law.

The police said, on April 6, a team of operatives on investigation into the armed robbery attack extended their investigation based on intelligence to the hotel, located along Igosun Road in Offa, with a view to securing information that could assist discreet investigation into the crime.

The police said the hotel staff could not satisfactorily give an account on questionable lodgers in the hotel prior to the robbery by their failure to maintain or keep proper official lodgers’ register expected to be presented to the police and other law enforcement agencies on demand.

“Other lodgers found in the hotel during the investigation failed to give credible information to police operatives to assist in the investigation concerning their observation in the hotel within the period in question,” said the police first information report

The prosecutor, Inspector David Wodi, told the court that investigation into the case was yet to be completed.

The defence counsel, Joshua Ijaodola, prayed the court to admit the accused to bail pending the outcome of the investigation, as he submitted that the Constitution presumed the accused innocent until the contrary is proved.

The prosecutor did not oppose the application for bail as he left the bail to the discretion of the court.

The magistrate, Mrs. M.B. Folorunso, exercised bail discretion in favour of the accused and admitted them to bail each in the sum of N200,000 and two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case till May 3 for further mention

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