IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE OF KWARA STATE OF NIGERIA
ILORIN JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT ILORIN
ON FRIDAY THE 30TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2016
BEFORE HIS LORDSHIP: HON. JUSTICE M. A. FOLAYAN – JUDGE
SUIT NO. KWS/18C/2014
THE STATE………………………. COMPLAINANT
ABDULLAHI LANRE )
IDOWU MAKANJUOLA ) ……….. ACCUSED PERSONS
TUNDE SHEU )
WASIU MUSTAPHA )
The accused persons herein are charged together for the following offences. Criminal conspiracy being in lawful possession of Firearms, armed robbery and receiving stolen property. The charges are as follows:-
That you Abdullahi Lanre, Mahmud Ridwan, Idowu Makanjuola and Tunde Sheu, on or about the 15/3/2014 at Saw Mill garage Area Ilorin Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired committed an illegal acts, to wit: while armed with gun robbed one Shittu Kamaldeen of one Kia Rio Saloon car with some other valuables and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 97 of the Penal Code.
That you Abdullahi Lanre, Mahmud Ridwan, Idowu Makanjuola, Tunde Sheu, Mustapha Wasiu on or about the 15/3/14 at Sawmill garage Area Ilorin Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court committed an illegal act to wit: unlawful possession of firearms and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3 (1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) act Cap R11 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
That you Abdullahi Lanre, Mahmud Ridwan, Idowu Makajuola, Tunde Sheu, on or about 15/3/14 at Sawmill garage Area, Ilorin, Kwara State committed an illegal act to wit: while armed with gun robbed one Shittu Kamalden of one Kia Rio Saloon Car with some valuables and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 1(2) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap R11 of Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
That you Mustapha Wasiu on or about the 15/3/14 at Sawmill garage Area Ilorin, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court committed an illegal act, to wit: receiving stolen property to Section 5 of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap Rule 11 Law of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
The changes were read and explained to each of the accused persons and they all pleaded not guilty. The 4 accused persons were represented by counsel. The prosecution opened their case with the evidence of the Exhibit Keeper who testified as PW1. The following items were registered with him.
(1) One locally made pistol.
(2) 3 live cartridges.
(3) One small axe.
(4) One Kia Rio Car with registration No. Kwara FFA626-AE.
(5) One new Samsung Laptop.
(6) Two Nokia handsets.
(7) Two small wallets (purse) in connection with the above charges.
He took custody of them but on 12/3/14 and25/3/14 respectively, the Kia Rio car, the 2 laptops, Tiger Generator, 2 Nokia Handsets were released on bond to one Shittu Kamaldeen of No. 44 Awolowo Street, Tanke Ilorin. The two bonds dated 12/3/14 and 25/3/14 respectively were tendered and admitted as Exhibits 1 and 1A. The locally made pistol was admitted and marked Exhibit 2,3, live catridges marked Exhibit 3, A small axe Exhibit 4. Two small wallet marked Exhibit 5 and 5A respectively. Under cross examination he said he said these are the 4 accused brought to him in connection with the case and he was at the scene of crime so would not know how the Exhibits were recovered. That it was the Investigative Police Officer that released the above mentioned items on bond.
One Sgt, Adebayo Christopher attached to CID Anti-Robbery Section isPW2. He said he was among the team on patrol on 5/3/14 at about11.30pm along Taiwo road when they received a signal from their control room that a car was snatched at gun point at Tanke. They immediately moved to Small Area and there they met 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th accuseds. They interpreted then and the 4th accused pointed a gun to them as he attempted to escape but he was shot by the Police to prevent him from escaping. The 1st accused also tried to escape and was shot; the other 2 cooperated and were ordered to lie down. The two injured accused persons were taken to General Hospital Oke-Oyi. At the scene of crime the 4 accused persons bodies were searched and following items were recovered. A cut to size pistol was recovered from the 3rd accused (Tunde Sheu); the small axe was recovered from 2nd accused (Ridwan). The Nokia handsets generator and laptop were recovered from the 3rd accused (Tunde Sheu); the small axe was recovered from 2nd accused (Ridwan). The Nokia handsets, Generator and laptop were recovered from inside the car. They took the 2 who are not injured to the Police Station. He identified the 4th accused (Mustapha Wasiu). That he did not do any other thing apart from his involvement in the arrest of the accused persons. When cross examined he said he was the patrol team leader and he knows the gun recovered the gun from the accused is real gun even though there is no ballistic test conducted. The accused fired the gun, and because he was the one who recovered the gun from the accused he could identify it. He said he is 14 years old in the Police Force. He confirmed that he was not at the scene of crime and no finger print test was taken on any of the Exhibit recovered. As for the content of the purse or wallet, he said they found about N120.00 but he may not know if there were Identity Card and ATM Card in the wallet.
In conclusion, I hold that the prosecutions has prove a case of criminal conspiracy, armed robbery and being in possession of firearms against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused beyond reasonable doubt. I have cautiously examine the totality of the evidence before me and I have no doubt in my mind that the 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused persons are guilty of criminal conspiracy contrary to Section 97 of Penal Code, armed robbery contrary to Section 1(2)(a) of Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) act Cap R11 LFN, they are also found guilty of the offence of being in possession of Firearms and offensive weapon contrary to Section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provision Act. It is noted that the charges read Mahmud Ridwan as the 5th accused in this case but the said Ridwan never attended the trial. Four people attended the trial, 1st, 2nd 3rd and 4th accused persons, that is, Abdullahi Lanre, Idowu Makajuola, Tunde Sheu and Mustapha Wasiu for avoidance of doubt.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused persons are hereby found guilty of the offences of:-
Criminal Conspiracy, armed robbery and being in illegal possession of firearms contrary to section 97 of the Penal Code, Section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearm (Special Provisions) Act Cap R11 LFN 2004, and being in possession of Firearms in contravention of the Firearms Act.
The 3 accused persons, that is, 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused whose names are stated above are found guilty of the above offences and are hereby convicted as charged.
The 4th accused is hereby discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence to support the offence of receiving stolen property levied against him.
HON. JUSTICE M. A. AFOLAYAN
Accused are present.
Mr. A. Y. Beki (ACSC) with Mrs. R. O. Yusu Gabjumo and Chinwe Ugoala for State
Mrs. R. A. Mustapha for 1st, 2nd and 3rd accuseds
T. M. Onaolapo with M. B. Afolayan for 4th accused.
Court – Judgement read and delivered.
HON. Justice M. A. Folayan
Mrs. Mustapha – We are not ungrateful. We pray the court to have mercy on the convicts, they are young men and are remorseful pray the court to temper justice with mercy. They have parents who are aged and who are determined to make them turn a new leave. The 3rd convict is an only child of single mother.
Mr. Beki – We appreciate the erudite judgement. As human we sympathise with the young convicts by the court’s hand are tied and this court has no discretion to exercise in mitigating sentence. We pray the court to pronounce sentence according to justice.
Court – As rightly said by the learned State Counsel the sentence in this case is a mandatory one and the court has no discretion to exercise even if it wishes to give the convicts a second chance. This court must pronounce the sentence according to law.
The offence of criminal conspiracy carries the same punishment as the substantive offence. Each of the convict is hereby sentenced to death by hanging by the neck till they be dead, or by causing the convict to suffer death by firing squad as the Governor may direct. This sentence is both for conspiracy and the substantive offence of armed robbery.
For the offence of being in possession of Firearms each of the convicts is sentence to 10 years imprisonment.
HON. JUSTICE M. A. FOLAYAN