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Court Acquits Man Of Armed Robbery Charge After Spending Five Years In Kirikiri Maximum Prison

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An Igbosere High Court in Lagos State on Tuesday discharged and acquitted a man, Jelili Dimeji, of a four-count armed robbery charge brought against him five years ago.

The Lagos State Government had accused Dimeji of robbing some valuables from an apartment in Ikotun in 2015.

In her judgment during virtual proceedings, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye held that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Justice Ipaye held: “The alleged confessional statement was never placed before the court as an exhibit.

“I must hold that the prosecution’s failure to place the confessional statement before the court is fatal to its case.

“The mere fact that the Investigating Police Officer testified that the defendant confessed cannot be taken as the gospel truth without some other hard evidence before the court.”

The judge said there was no cogent identification evidence before the court as Desmond Usman, the alleged victim of the October 7, 2015 robbery, failed to come to court to testify and identify Dimeji as one of the perpetrators of the crime.

She also noted that Sergeant James Irom, the IPO, and first prosecution witness, also failed to tender allegedly recovered weapons, while testifying before the court.

Ipaye held: “As an 18th Century English jurist stated, it is better than 10 guilty persons escape than one innocent suffers.

“Accordingly, I find and hold that the prosecution has failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant, Jelili Dimeji, was one of those who carried out the robbery, which took place at about 3am on October 7, 2015, at 28, Dele Ara Street, Ikotun, Lagos.

“I so hold.

“Having failed to establish the substantive charge of armed robbery against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, I find and hold that the prosecution has also not sustained the ancillary charge of conspiracy.

“I, therefore, find you Jelili Dimeji not guilty of the charges as contained in counts one to four of the information dated March 3, 2017.

“You are hereby discharged and acquitted.”

Following Dimeji’s acquittal, defense counsel, Pamela Okoroigwe, thanked the court for the judgment.

Reacting to the judgment, the lead prosecution counsel, Akin George, said: “I salute the wonderful wisdom of my lord, we have been robbed of vital witnesses as a result of the delay in investigations.

“My lord will note that this crime occurred in 2015.

“We did not start prosecuting in the high court until two years after, in 2017, and many of our vital witnesses were unavailable.”

NAN reports that Dimeji was charged with conspiracy and armed robbery contrary to Sections 297 and 299 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2015.

He was alleged to have committed the offenses alongside four others at large.

The prosecution said: “The defendant and his accomplices at about 3am on October 7, 2015, at No. 28, Dele Ara Street, Ikotun, Lagos, while armed with dangerous weapons, robbed one Oladipo Adu of a cash sum of N300,000 and jewelry.

“They also robbed one Desmond Usman of his laptop and mobile phones.”

During the trial, two witnesses – the IPO and Chidiogo Michael, the landlord of the property where the alleged theft occurred – testified for the prosecution, while the defendant and his father testified for the defense.

Dimeji while testifying on February 26, 2019, said he was on his way to a motor park to head to Ifo in Ogun State to see his wife, who had just been delivered of a baby when he was accosted by a vigilance group who claimed he was a member of a gang of robbers which robbed nearby residential premises.

According to him, he did not partake in the armed robbery but was arrested, taken into custody, and was remanded at the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre.

BIG STORY

Nigeria @ 60: Zenith Bank To Reward Customers With Millions In ‘Zenith Beta Life Special Independence Giveaway Promo’ [Details Attached]

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Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, is celebrating Nigeria’s 60 years Independence anniversary in a big way.

The apex bank is set to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary with giving away gifts worth N500,000 to one lucky winner and the sum N100,000 to 10 lucky winners.

The Zenith Beta Life Promo draws will take place on October 2nd and 9th, 2020.

For more information, visit www.zenithbank.com/betalife

 

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BIG STORY

I’ve Never Received Bribe All My Life, Suspended EFCC Boss Magu Tells Ayo Salami Panel

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Suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu on Wednesday said he has never received bribe all his life.

Magu was testifying before the Justice Ayo Salami panel probing allegations of corruption against him.

The suspended EFCC boss said anyone who claims he had ever given him a bribe should come forward before the panel to testify against him.

He was responding to allegations that he allowed a suspect Hima Aboubakar, a Nigerien National to escape from justice.

The suspended EFCC boss had opened his defense on Monday to clear corruption allegations against him.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Many Injured As Gas Explosion Rocks Iju, Lagos [PHOTOS & VIDEO]

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A loud explosion shook the Ajuwon, in the Iju area of Lagos shortly before 3:30 this afternoon as thick smoke billowed into the sky.

Ajuwon is a community between Lagos and Ogun State border.

The residents are currently in distress after a gas explosion rocked the area.

PorscheClassy News learnt that the accident happened at Cele Bus Stop, along Grailand, Ajuwon.

Iju is located between Agege and Ojodu Berger and is a thickly populated area in the Ikeja Local Government Area.

An eyewitness explained that the explosion was from a gas plant located around Iju Hills and close to Grailland.

As at the time of filing this report, the rescue operation has commenced.

However, a plank market and an event center are completely burnt to ruins.

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