Court orders trial-within-trial in robbery case

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An FCT High Court, Maitama, has ordered the conduct of trial-within-trial to ascertain the voluntariness of statements made to the Police by defendants in a case of alleged armed robbery.

The defendants- Ademola Akaka, Kelvin Terkura, Michael Exe, Kelvin Okafor, Emmanuel Onoja, and Abdullahi Aliyu, were dragged to court by the Police on a 3-count charge, bordering on armed robbery.

The defendants had all denied committing the offences.

Justice Jude Okeke gave the order after objections raised by the defence counsel.

The defence counsel, Messrs Olusegun Oyewale and Phillip Akpave, had objected to tendering of the statement allegedly made by their clients on June 28, 2017, on the grounds that they were not voluntarily made.

” The court now orders that trial-within-trial be conducted to ascertain the voluntariness of the statements made by the defendants to the Police, ” Okeke ordered.

He adjourned the matter until March 13, for the trial-within-trial.

The defence counsel raised the objections when the prosecuting counsel, Mr John Ijaegbemi, sought to tendered some documents through his second witness, Sgt. Dominic Egbedo.

Egbedo was the investigation officer at Apo Police Station, where the matter was reported, and he took the defendants’ statements.

Ijaegbemi had told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offences on Oct. 22, 2014.

He said that they went to the home of one Henry Ofong at Gaduwa Estate, Abuja, armed with dangerous weapons and robbed him and his wife of valuables valued at N9 million.

The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 6 (a) (b) and 2 of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provision Act Cap. R11, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2014 and Section 317 of the Penal Code.

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