Proprietor of a hotel where the armed robbers, who overran Offa community a fortnight ago allegedly spent the night before the operation has been arraigned before an Ilorin Magistrate’s Court. Also arraigned before Magistrate M. B. Folorunso were the hotel’s accountant, a receptionist, a room keeper and a club house operator as well as four lodgers who were staying in the hotel at the time the suspected robbers also allegedly lodged there.
All the accused are of residential addresses in the town. About 30 people were believed to have been killed when the robbers, operating in groups, invaded the Divisional Police Station as well as five commercial banks and a micro finance bank in the community during an operation that lasted about one hour. The accused were brought to court on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence and giving false information to screen an offender, both contrary to Sections 97 and 167 of the Penal Code #Law.
The Police First Information Report (FIR) on the case stated that on April 6, a team of operatives on investigation into the armed robbery attack extended their investigation based on intelligent gathering to the hotel located on Igosun Road in Offa with the view of securing information that could assist discreet investigation into the #crime.
The FIR further stated that the hotel staff could not, however, satisfactorily give account of questionable lodgers in their hotel prior to the robbery incident by their failure to maintain or keep proper official lodgers’ register expected to be presented to the police and other law enforcement agencies on demand. It also stated that others found in the hotel during the investigation failed to give credible information to the police operatives to assist in the investigation concerning their observation in the hotel within the period in question.
The prosecutor, Inspector David Wodi, told the court that investigation into the case was yet to be completed but counsel to the accused, Joshua Ijaodola, prayed the court to admit his clients to bail, pending the outcome of the investigation as he submitted that the nation’s constitution presumed the accused innocent until the contrary was proved The prosecutor did not oppose the application for bail as he left the bail to the discretion of the court.
In her ruling, the magistrate, Folorunso, admitted the accused to bail each in the sum of N200,000 and two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case till May 3 for further mention.