Proceedings at an Ikeja High Court on Wednesday took another turn when Ahmed Isiaka, a defendant charged with armed robbery, told a stunned courtroom that he did not know his female co-defendant.
Isiaka made the assertion when he took to the witness box to testify in his defence, during his ongoing trial for conspiracy and armed robbery.
While being led in evidence by Mrs Olamide Amore-Akintoye, Isiaka said: “My Lord, I do not know anything about this charge; I don’t know Victoria Amodu, the second defendant.
“I am a driver by profession. On the day I was arrested by the police, I was returning to Lagos from Seme, and I was stopped by policemen at a checkpoint at Ojo Barracks.
“I was questioned about the goods that I was carrying and I told them the goods were not my property, and that I was conveying them on behalf of a customer.
“My goods were seized and I was asked to pay a N30,000 fine. I tried giving them N2,000 which was rejected, and I was jailed.
“I was taken from the police station by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and detained in their custody, and I was charged for armed robbery.
“I met my female co-defendant for the first time in the courtroom when we were jointly arraigned on the charge of conspiracy and armed robbery.”
On her part, Victoria Amodu, Isiaka’s co-defendant, also corroborated Isiaka’s claims while giving evidence in her defence.
Led in evidence by her defence lawyer, Mr Nelson Onyejaka, Amodu, the 29-year-old mother of four, said: “I am a trader, I sell Ghana bread, and I reside at Ajara, Lagos.
“The night I was arrested by the police, I went to the market to buy food for my children, and I noticed that a lot of people were running from the police.
“I was arrested by the police during the raid, and I was detained at the back of their pick-up truck; I was taken to the police station.
“I was taken to the police station at Ikeja and I was not allowed access to my family. I was asked to bail myself out with N40,000 but I could not raise the money.
“My children are with an aged helper of mine. I have never handled a gun or a pistol. I want the court to temper justice with mercy, I miss my children.
“I met my co-defendant for the first time when we were brought to court,” she said.
The prosecution, led by Mrs A.B. Awosika, alleged that the duo belong to an armed robbery gang which carried out various operations in the Badagry area of Lagos State in 2014.
“On May 19, 2014, along the LASU-Badagry Expressway, the defendants alongside others, who are at large, robbed Mrs Mary Unene of N720,000 and three mobile phones valued at N19,500.
“On Aug. 12, 2014 at Church Bus-Stop, Badagry, Lagos, the defendants and their accomplices robbed one Miss Elizabeth Moses of N35,000 and a cheque of N1.4 million.
“On Aug. 18, 2014 at Oko-Afo Bus-Stop, along LASU-Badagry Expressway, the defendants and their accomplices also dispossessed Mr Abolade Akeem of N43,000,” the prosecutor said.
Justice Kudirat Jose adjourned the case until Nov. 29, for adoption of final written addresses. (NAN)
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