Justice Halimah Salman of the Kwara State High Court in Ilorin has adjourned the trial of five Offa Bank robbery suspects due to the absence of witnesses and exhibits by police to prosecute the case.
The Director of Public Prosecution, Jimoh Mumini, while addressing the court on Monday said all the witnesses in the robbery case are policemen who investigated the case and they are all from the Police Headquarters in Abuja.
“No witness was taken from Offa where the robbery took place and none from Kwara State,” he said.
Mumini explained that all efforts to get the AIG David Igbodo and the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to produce witnesses in court proved abortive.
“On the 10th of December 2018, I wrote a letter to the AIG, Mr Igodo, which I copied to this honourable court to make available all witnesses in this case in court today.
“I followed it up with phone calls on January 2, 4 and 6, 2019. It was at about 8.07 pm yesterday (Sunday) that Abba Kyari, DCP told me that the witnesses will leave Abuja for Ilorin this morning. I told him that the court would sit at 9am. The AIG then told me to beg the court for short adjournment,” he said.
He, therefore, asked for adjournment which was not opposed by the defense counsel, Mathias Emeribe.
The judge while ruling vacated the order of definite hearing earlier given on November 13, and adjourned till January 18.
Mumini in an interview told journalists that there is no ambiguity in the case. “We are prepared, the Ministry of Justice is prepared. The case is clear, there is no ambiguity about this case,” he said.
The defense counsel however said that he is disappointed over non-availability of the witnesses.
“I am disappointed. We are hopeful that they will do the needful on the 18th and come up with witnesses. Infact, I am supposed to have the evidence before that day, so that I will have the opportunity to prepare properly for the accused persons,” he said.
The suspects are accused of robbing banks and killing many people in Offa local government area of Kwara State in April, 2018.