At Last, Hearing in Offa Bank Robbery Commences  

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 By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin

At last, the hearing of the Offa robbery case commenced yesterday at a High Court in Ilorin, Kwara State, with a prosecution witness, Inspector Yusuf Dauda tendering exhibits, including some ammunitions, vehicles and car sticker allegedly used in the April 5, 2018 robbery operation in Offa.

About 33 people, including nine policemen were reportedly killed in the robbery incident which took place in five commercial banks where an undisclosed sum of money was stolen.

Five people are standing trial in the robbery case and these are Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye, Adeola Abraham, Salaudeen Azeez and Niyi Ogundiran.

They are charged with alleged armed robbery, illegal possession of fire arms and murder.

The hearing ought to have commenced two weeks ago but the private prosecutor employed by the state government, Professor Wahala Egbewole (SAN) asked the court to give him some time because he had just been given the case and that day was his first appearance in the court.

He, thus, asked the court to give him time to study the case file before making any comment, which the court granted.

However, testifying before the court, yesterday, presided by Justice Halimat Salman, Inspector Dauda who said he was an exhibit keeper at the Kwara State Headquarters of the  Nigeria Police, Ilorin disclosed that on April 10,2018, a former Divisional Police officer in Offa Local Government, CSP Danjuma Adamu handed to him some weapons and ammunition allegedly used in the robbery operation.

Led in evidence by Professor Wahab Egbewole (SAN), Dauda said that the ammunition included 39 expended 7.6mm ammunition, 4 expended 5.6mm, 2 expended blank cartridges, 4 used bullet, one life 5.6mm ammunition, one cartridge safety box on which Ikoyi South West, Lagos, Nigeria was written and a damaged Padlock.

He also said that on April 15, 2018, Inspector Hassan attached to the Inspector General of Police rescue team brought one Lexus Jeep on which a sticker bearing “Saraki” was written, with its key, a Compressor Mercedes Benz and four Stickers bearing “Saraki”. The Prosecution tendered all the items as exhibits in the case.

Another witness, Inspector Hitila Hassan attached to the Intelligence unit of the IGP, who said that he was one of the officers that investigated the robbery operation, stated that he arrested the five accused persons that are standing trial in the
case.

He said that the robbery was conceived and planned by Ayoade Akinnibosun, Ibikunle Ogunleye and late Michael Adikwu who also supplied the ammunition and led the robbery operation on April 5, in Offa.

He said that the meeting for the robbery operation was held in Ajase-Ipo and Oro town on April 2 and 3, 2018, respectively before it was executed on April 5, 2018.

Hitila said that it was the CCT video clip footage that gave out the identity of the persons that participated in the robbery operation.

The police officer said that in the course of investigation, the police discovered that three vehicles: a Mercedes Benz Compressor belonging to Akinnibosun, a Volkswagen Audi 80 belonging to Adikwu and a Nissan Primera brought by other people that participated in the robbery but now at large were used for the operation.

He stated that in the course of investigation, Ibikunle Ogunleye confessed that he killed two of the robbery victims when they attempted to apprehend him while the operation was on, while Niyi Ogundiran and Adeola confessed that they killed two and five people respectively.

Hitila said that two of the accused persons confessed that it was Adikwu who killed all the policemen because, according to them, Adikwu shouted on top of his voice at the Police station that “the Nigeria Police has offended him by dismissing him from service and he would take revenge.”

Justice Salman adjourned the case till February 19 and 20, 2019 for further hearing.