Judge lambasts prosecutor for delaying Offa bank robbery trial

Justice Haleema Salman, the trial Judge in the April 5, 2018 Offa bank robbery case, in Kwara, has blamed prosecution for the seeming delay in the dispensation of the case.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday in Ilorin after a prolonged adjournment, Justice Salman expressed displeasure of the court on the media reports 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 is the prosecutor.

“The case was adjourned on Sept. 7, 2020 to Dec. 22, 2020 to enable the prosecutor bring his key witness (Inspector Joseph Danjuma) to court.

“But on Dec. 21, 2020, the prosecutor was still unable to produce the witness, citing administrative bottlenecks,” Salman said.

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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 Newoke.

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

He, thereafter, sought for an adjournment to enable them assemble the necessary gadgets needed to interprete 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 submitted.

The Defence Counsel, Mathias Emeribe, also agreed for the adjournment.

He however, complained to the court that the health challenge of the first accused person, Ayoade Akinnibosun had not been attended to as ordered by the court in the last adjourned date.

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After granting the prosecutor’s request for an adjournment, Justice Salman fumed: ” It’s your case. I don’t know whether you are working for the defence. Just state your case and I will record.”

He said that the subsisting order of the court on the need for a doctor at the Correctional Service Centre, Ilorin, to attend to the health challenge of the first accused person was still in force

Salman gave a definite order asking Dr Paul Olaleye to give Akinnibosun proper treatment and adjourned the case till Feb. 17, for continuation of hearing.

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