An FCT High Court in Wuse Zone 2, has ordered the remand of five men arrested for the foiled armed robbery which took place at the branch of a first generation bank in Mpape, Abuja on December 28, 2019.
The judge, Justice Ajoke Adepoju gave the order on Friday after they were arraigned on five counts of conspiracy, armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.
The defendants: a staff of the bank, 30-year-old Ehizo Larry; Princewill Obinna, 24; Elijah David, 19; Timothy Joe, 21 and Earnest Ewim, 29, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.
The police alleged that on December 28, 2019, the five defendants at a bank at Mpape, Abuja “conspired” amongst themselves to commit armed robbery, contrary to section 6(a),(b), and (c) of the Robbery and Firearm (Special Provisions) Act.
It alleged, among others that defendants carried out the bank robbery operation “armed with offensive weapons, such as locally-made pistols, cutlasses and axes” and “forcefully” collected phones from one Ann Awele, an employee of the bank, an offence said to be punishable under section 1(2)(a) of the same law.
After they took their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, James Idachaba, urged the court to remand them in prison and requested that his team be given one week to present its case.
He said the prosecution had listed seven witnesses and would tender “vital exhibits”.
“Our case is very easy because the defendants were caught in the act,” Idachaba said.
The defence lawyers, Peter Ihunweze representing Larry and Ewin, as well as Anenin Ebabosi, representing Obinna, informed the court that they would file applications for their clients’ bail.
The third and fourth defendants, David and Joe, were not represented by any lawyer.
The prosecuting counsel promised the judge that he would contact the Legal Aid Council to provide free legal representation for the two defendants if they are unable to procure the services of a lawyer by the next hearing date.
The judge then ordered their remand in a custodial centre and fixed March 13 for trial.
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