Police Dock Hotelier, Others over Offa Robbery

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Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

The police in Kwara State wednesday arraigned the proprietor of the hotel where suspected armed robbers who robbed four banks and killed many people a fortnight ago in Offa lodged before the attack before a magistrate court in Ilorin, the state capital.
Also arraigned before the court, included the accountant, a receptionist, a room keeper and a club house operator of the hotel.
The four lodgers who were staying in the hotel at the time the suspected robbers also lodged there were also arraigned.

All the accused, including the four lodgers, are of residential addresses of the town.

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 who arraigned them said the offences contravened sections 97 and 167 of the Penal Code Law.

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

The police said: “The hotel staff could not however satisfactorily give account of questionable lodgers in their hotel prior to the robbery incident 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.

“Others found in the hotel during the investigation failed to give credible information to the police operatives to assist in the investigation concerning their observation in the hotel within the period in question.”

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 country’s 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.

The case was adjourned till May 3 for further mention.