An officer of the National Security and Civil Defense Corps, Taiwo Babalola, has been remanded by a Kogi High Court in Lokoja for an alleged armed robbery.
The case is been presided by Justice Sunday Otu of High Court 3,Babalola, currently serving with the Kogi Command of the NSCDC, was alleged to have committed the offense, along with the two others, on December 9, 2016 at Lokogoma village in Lokoja.
The News Agency of Nigeria quotes Mr. Kadiri Mukailu, victim of the robbery attack, as telling the court in his testimony that on the said date, the trio, armed with guns and other weapons, invaded his residence at Lokogoma, forcefully collected his car keys and drove the vehicle away.
Mukailu said the car, which had not been recovered, was taken away by the trio along with his UBA ATM card.
Others items taken away by the accused, he said, included two phones valued at N16,00, a wrist watch valued at N1, 500, 10 pieces of cloth valued at N30,000 and the vehicle’s original particulars.
He told the court that during the robbery operation, which lasted for two hours, he had a full glimpse of the faces of the armed robbers because the lights were on and the suspects did not wear masks.
The victim stressed that he particularly remembered Kolawale Samson who had “scattered teeth”, wielded a big gun and called himself “MOPOL”.
Mukailu also told the court that his family members recognised Babalola as the robber that attacked his house when, on January 8, he returned to the vicinity for another robbery operation.
“When the robbery gang came on January 8, I immediately drew the attention of members of a local vigilante, who condoned off the premises and alerted the police, leading to the arrest of the suspects along with Babalola,” he said.
In his defence, Babalola said he was a neighbour to Mukailu at Lokogoma, but denied being part of any robbery.
He told the court that he was in his house on December 9, 2016, when three men, who claimed to be policemen, accosted him and told him that they were trailing some criminals, who entered Mukailu’s house.
“As a security officer, I asked if I could follow them, but they rejected that request. I even reported the incident to my superiors in the office the following day,’’ he said.
Babalola said he was surprised when he was arrested in his house at Lokogoma, on January 8 along with the two other suspects and taken to the `D’ Division of the Kogi Police Command.
The accused, however, admitted that he saw some people driving off in the said car, on the day of the robbery, but did not know who they were, and further told the court that the two accused were his brother and friend.
Further hearing in the case of criminal conspiracy and armed robbery preferred against the trio was adjourned till April 11.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )