Abuja – An FCT High Court in Gudu, Abuja, on Monday ordered that two men, John Tawo, 42, and Ishaku Adoja, 48, arraigned over alleged armed robbery be remanded in Kuje Prisons until Nov. 7.
Tawo and Adoja are facing two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and armed robbery contrary to Section 1 and 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms ACT 2004.
Justice Abubakar Talba gave the order following their counsel, Mr Victor Okangbe’s argument.
Okangbe told the court that the two men had already been arraigned on different charges in a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Mpape.
He also argued against their plea taking, saying that the second defendant had already filed an application for variation of his bail condition in the Magistrates’ Court adjourned till Oct.24.
He said he was opposed to his clients taking of plea because they were not properly arraigned.
He said that the application for plea taking by the prosecution was done in bad faith, saying that the accused persons were denied access to counsels of their choice.
Okangbe queried why the prosecution should arraign the accused persons without first withdrawing the other charges in the magistrates’ court.
He said they were just served with the notice of arraignment in the morning, without being given ample time to prepare.
In his response, the prosecutor, Mr Adeniyi Oyeyemi admitted that he served the notice of arraignment to the defence in the morning.
He explained that the charges before the High Court were different from the ones at the Chief Magistrates’ Court.
The prosecutor said that the accused persons were charged and arraigned on joint act and forgery, which were within the jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court.
Oyeyemi said that they were arraigned in the High Court on criminal conspiracy and armed robbery, which were not in the jurisdiction of the magistrates’ court.
He said that the documents forged by the accused persons were products of robbery that took place in the house of the complainant, one Mr Chibudom Nwuche.
After listening to arguments of both counsels, Justice Talba dismissed the prayer of the defence to discountenance the arraignment in the High Court.
Talba said the two trials “can go on side by side.’’
On the issue of being properly served, the judge said the court is bound to uphold the constitutional rights in criminal trials.
According to the prosecutor, the accused persons allegedly robbed at gun point, carting away Certificates of Occupancy, which the complainant, said were advertised for sale.
They also allegedly stole a Rolex diamond wrist watch, 11,000 US dollars, N4million belonging to one Mr Chibubom Nwuche and Foundation for Youth Development (FYD).
Other items stolen are: a revenue receipt, Nokia XL belonging to one Mr Wasiu Akindele.