Justice Yetunde Adesanya of an Ikeja High Court on Thursday ruled that a man, Sunday Kunle, accused of robbing a Bet9ja shop of N280,000 and other valuables in 2017, had a case to answer. Adesanya gave the ruling during a virtual proceeding.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the defendant is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery.
Ruling on a no-case submission filed by defence counsel, Mr Ibrahim Abass, the judge noted that armed robbery was carried out by a person or persons using dangerous weapons.
She said that the prosecution had established a prima facie (correct until proven otherwise) by tendering a gun allegedly used by Kunle during the robbery.
Adesanya said: “I have carefully considered the legal ingredients necessary to establish the offence of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery.
“The said gun used during the robbery was tendered during the trial as Exhibit P3 and the live cartridges allegedly recovered from the defendant tendered as Exhibit P4.
“In the light of the evidence of the prosecution especially those of the second and third prosecution witnesses, and Exhibits P3 and P4, this court must come to the conclusion that a prima facie case has been established against the defendant for the two offences charged.
“I, therefore, hold that the prosecution has made a prima facie case against the defendant of the criminal charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery.
“I accordingly reject the no-case submission made by the defence, and call upon the defendant to enter his defence. I so hold.”
According to the prosecution team led by Mrs Adenike Oluwafemi, the defendant and an accomplice who is at large, sometime in 2017, robbed a Bet9ja shop located at Surulere, Lagos.
The shop belongs to one Mrs Toyin Lucas, the prosecution said.
“The defendant and his accomplice, while in possession of two locally-made guns and four live cartridges, had at 8.30p.m. robbed Lucas’ Bet9ja shop of N280,000 earnings, three mobile phones belonging to staff and two laptops.
“While they fled the scene, the defendant tried firing his weapon at residents of the neighbourhood who were in pursuit. His gun jammed and he was apprehended.
“When he was caught, one of the two stolen laptops was recovered while his accomplice escaped with the cash and mobile phones,” Oluwafemi said.
NAN reports that during the trial, three witnesses – the complainant, a cashier of the shop and the investigating police officer – testified on behalf of the prosecution, which closed its case on Dec. 18, 2019.
Adesanya adjourned the case until July 1, for defence. (NAN)