Counsel withdraws as Offa banks’ robbery suspects are arraigned
No fewer than five of the suspected armed robbers of the Offa banks’ robberies were, on Wednesday, arraigned before a Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara State, presided over by Mr. Bio Saliu.
The matter, which came up for mention, was in connection with the April robberies in which Police said no fewer than 33 people, including police personnel and a pregnant woman, were killed.
Our correspondent gathered that Police prosecutor, Mr. Jimoh Abdulkadir, held brief for the Officer-in-Charge of Legal, Kwara State Police Command, Mr. Kunle Iwalaiye.
Abdulkadir told the court that, based on the advice of the Department of Public Prosecution of the Kwara State Ministry of Justice, the accused persons have cases to answer.
He also pleaded with the court that it was imperative for the Police to be given more time to continue with its investigations to allow for the arrest of more suspects and transfer them to a proper court for trial.
He also intimated the court of an application submitted before it.
But the counsel for the defendants, Mr. Abdulrasheed Lawal, told the court that there was a letter before it requesting the withdrawal of Mr. Abdulwahab Bamidele as the defense counsel for all the accused persons.
Lawal said: “We have a letter before this honourable court dated 24th October, 2018 seeking the withdrawal of Barrister Abdulwahab Bamidele from representing all the accused persons and also myself holding the brief of Abdulwahab Bamidele from the record of this honourable court.
“We have also copied the O/C Legal of the Kwara Police Command. In any circumstance, we want this court to discountenance the said names from the case record because we had no full knowledge of the matter at inception and the information given was misconstrued.”
The magistrate in his response granted the withdrawal of Bamidele as the defence counsel. He also agreed that the accused persons have cases to answer.
Saliu said, “This decision will allow the suspects to know their fates in good time.”
He, therefore, adjourned the case to Thursday, December 6, 2018. He also ordered that the accused persons remain in prison custody.