A 30-year-old man, Bature Iliya, on Thursday confessed in a Lokoja Chief Magistrates’ Court that he only attacked his victim with a machete and not a gun. Iliay is being tried on a two-count charge of alleged criminal conspiracy and armed robbery.
The accused while in the dock patiently waited as the charges preferred against him were read out by the prosecutor Sgt. Tuesday Ganagana, and was asked if he understood the charges. He simply raised his hand and asked: “Magistrate, can I say something?” and the Chief Magistrate, Mr Levi Animoku, obliged him.
“They lied against me. See, I never had a gun, I only attacked him with my machete and collected the motorcycle when he proved stubborn but I did not use a gun, I am not an armed robber,” he said. Iliya of Fulani Camp, Gidan Gwari, Ajaokuta Local Government, along with one other, now at large, was alleged to have attacked Abdullahi Musa of Adogo Fulani Camp and robbed him of his Gionee handset and Daylong motorcycle valued N130,000 on Aug. 16. Musa, who claimed to be returning home from his father in-law’s place on a bush path at Gidan Gwari, said the accused and his alleged accomplice were armed with dangerous weapons, including sticks, cutlasses and guns.
He said that they beat him with stick, inflicted machete cut injuries on his head and left elbow and robbed him of the items after which they left him in the bush. The prosecutor said the complainant was rescued by Abdulmumuni who rushed him to a hospital in Eganyi, headquarters of Ajaokuta Local.
He told the court that the case was under investigation and submitted that the offence of armed robbery under section 298(c) of the Penal Code was not bailable as it carries life imprisonment upon conviction. In his ruling, Magistrate Animoku said: “the offence of armed robbery is horrifying and one of the serious social vices that often lead to death of Nigerian citizens. “Bail is not granted as matter of course, the presumption of innocence notwithstanding.” He, therefore, ordered that the accused be remanded at Federal Prisons, Okene. He adjourned the case till Sept. 22, for mention.