A 30-year-old farmer Bature Iliya accused of criminal conspiracy and armed robbery has told the Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court 1 that he only attacked his victim with a machete and not a gun.
Iliya, who was arraigned by the police on two counts of criminal conspiracy and armed robbery before the court in Lokoja, said contrary to the allegations, he did not have a gun.
After the charges preferred against him were read out by the prosecuting police officer, Tuesday Ganagana, and he was asked if he understood the charges, Iliya asked for permission to speak.
When the Chief Magistrate, Mr. Levi Animoku, obliged him, he said, “They lied against me. See, I never had a gun, I only attacked him (the victim) with my machete and collected the motorcycle when he proved stubborn but I did not use a gun, I am not an armed robber.”
Iliya, who resided in the Fulani Camp, Gidan Gwari, Ajaokuta Local Government, along with one other man, now at large, was alleged to have attacked one Abdullahi Musa of Adogo Fulani Camp and robbed him of his Gionee mobile phone and Daylong motorcycle valued N130,000 on August 16.
Musa said he was returning home after visiting his father in-law when the accused and his accomplice, armed with cutlasses, sticks and guns, accosted him on a bush path at Gidan Gwari.
He alleged that they beat him with stick, inflicted machete cuts on his head and left elbow and robbed him of the items after which they left him in the bush.
He was rescued by one Abdulmumuni who rushed him to a hospital in Eganyi, the headquarters of Ajaokuta Local Government Area.
The prosecutor told the court that the case was under investigation and submitted that the offence of armed robbery under section 298(c) of the Penal Code was not bailable as it carries life imprisonment upon conviction.
In his ruling, Animoku said, “The offence of armed robbery is horrifying and one of the serious social vices that often lead to death of Nigerian citizens. Bail is not granted as matter of course, the presumption of innocence notwithstanding.”
He, therefore, ordered that the accused be remanded at the Federal Prisons, Okene and transferred the case to Chief Magistrate Court, Okene.
Source: The Punch