Justice A. Ekong of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Zuba has convicted and sentenced three Abuja youths to death for dispossessing their victim of a Blackberry phone and the sum of N9,000.
The court, in its judgment delivered on Thursday, held that Richard Obi, Chibuike Kanu and Ebube Tasie, who had been terrorising Apo, Garki Areas 1, 3, 8 and 10, should be executed by hanging.
The convicts were arraigned by the police on four counts of criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms and possession of stolen items, contrary to sections 6(b), 1 (2), 2 (3) and 5 of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provision Act.
The charges read in part, “That you, Richard Obi, 22, of Area 10, Garki; Chibuike Kanu, 21; and Ebube Tasie, 22, of Kado, Abuja, on or about June 3, 2016, around 1.55am at the Area 3 junction, Garki, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, conspired to commit felony to wit; armed robbery, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provision Act, 2004.
“That you, Richard Obi, Chibuike Kanu and Ebube Tasie, on or about 1.55am on June 3, 2016, at the Area 3 junction, Garki, Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, while armed with pistols, knives and other weapons, robbed one Mohammed Adamu of his Blackberry phone valued at N35,000 and the sum of N9,000, and inflicted injuries on him, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 1(2) of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provisions Act.”
The police explained that the defendants were arrested around the Catholic Church at Area 3, in possession of the firearms, a Blackberry phone and N5,840 stolen from their victim.
The trial judge held that the prosecutor, ACP Simon Lough, of the Legal Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja, had proven beyond reasonable doubt the four counts against the convicts.
Ekong sentenced them to death by hanging on counts one and two, and life imprisonment on count three, while they were sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment on count four.
Similarly, the Lagos State High Court in Igbosere, on Monday, sentenced two men, Kingsley Baba and Bashiru Musa, to 21 years’ imprisonment for robbery.
The convicts were sentenced by Justice Adedayo Akintoye during a virtual court session.
Baba and Musa were arraigned before the court sometime in 2017 on three counts bordering on conspiracy and armed robbery.
The prosecution had told the court that the convicts and others at large committed the offences on December 8, 2015, around 3.30am at No. 10 Samuel Oloje Street, Purview Estate, Ajah, Lagos.
The prosecution alleged that the convicts and their accomplices robbed one Mrs Olutosin Oshinowo and one Desmond Wester, while armed with weapons, and stole a laptop, cash, jewellery and an Automated Teller Machine card.
The offences, the prosecutor said, contravened sections 295(2) and 297 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Justice Akintoye, in her judgment on Monday, held that the prosecution was able to prove a case of robbery and not armed robbery.
The judge noted that the prosecution could not prove that Musa robbed Wester, but was able to prove the offence of conspiracy to commit robbery against the convicts.
She added that the first defendant admitted in his statement that he discussed the robbery with the second defendant and one Emmanuel and one Bright, who are still at large.
Justice Akintoye added, “To my mind, the complicity in the robbery has been established and the conspiracy to commit the robbery has also been established. The second defendant, Bashiru Musa, is found guilty of count two of robbery, contrary to Section 295(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011, and he is not guilty of count three alone. The defendants are hereby convicted.”
The counsel for the convicts, Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem, urged the court to temper justice with mercy, adding that they were first time offenders.