Judge angry over delay in trial of Offa bank robbery suspects

The trial judge in the April 5, 2018, Offa bank robbery case, Justice Haleemah Salman, on Monday in Ilorin expressed anger over delay in the trial, blaming the prosecution for the seeming delay in the dispensation of the case.

At the resumed hearing of the case, after a prolonged adjournment, Justice Salman expressed the displeasure of the court on the media reports which said that the court was delaying the trial of the suspects.

“The court is not happy about the news going round in the media that the court is delaying adjudication on this matter. If anybody is to be blamed for the delay in this trial, it’s the prosecution. The case was adjourned on September 7, 2020, to December 21/22 to enable the prosecution to bring its key witness (Inspector Joseph Danjuma) to court. But on December 21, 2020, the prosecution was still unable to produce the witness, citing administrative bottlenecks,” Justice Salman said.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Bola Gold, had filed an application before the court seeking the replacement of its key witness, Inspector Danjuma, with Inspector John Nwoke.

He told the court that Danjuma is outside the country on an official assignment.

He, thereafter, sought an adjournment to enable them to assemble the necessary gadgets needed to interpret videos and CCTV footages.

“The witness is to give evidence on videos and CCTV footage and we need to arrange gadgets in the court for this purpose. We will need an adjournment in view of the technicalities involved in this,” Gold said.

The defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe, also agreed for adjournment.

He, however, complained to the court that the health challenge of the first defendant, Ayoade Akinnibosun, has not been attended to as ordered by the court at the last adjourned date.

After granting the prosecution’s request for an adjournment, Justice Salman said that “it’s your case. I don’t know whether you are working for the defence. Just state your case and I will record.”

Justice Salman, who said the subsisting order of the court on the need for the doctor at the Correctional Service Centre, Ilorin to attend to the health challenge of the first defendant is still in force, gave a definite order asking Dr Paul Olaleye to give Akinnibosun proper treatment.

The trial judge then adjourned the case to February 17, 2021.


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