Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo on Monday convicted and
sentenced two middle year old man, Suleiman Sanni and Taiwo Ibrahim to three
years imprisonment for belonging to an unlawful association and stealing.
Justice Taiwo handed down the verdict after she found them guilty of a three
counts of the eight count charge brought against them by the Lagos State
government. The state had charged the convicts alongside the two other
defendants on eight count charges bordering on armed robbery, unlawful
possession of fire arms and stealing.
The offences contravenes sections 297, 295 and 328 of Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011
In her judgement, the judge held, “The defendants was charged for armed robbery, conspiracy and unlawful possession of fire arms. The exhibits, cutlass, knives, AK 47 riffles, live ammunition, Army Uniform recovered from the scene of crime was not tender in court. “I have carefully considered the case before the court, the prosecution failed to prove the case of armed robbery against the defendants, the defendants are therefore discharged of armed robbery. It is as a result of riot, unlawful society that defendants was charged. It is unfortunate that the innocent victims get robbed by the members of this unlawful society.
“I hereby found 1st and 3rd defendants guilty and convict them for unlawful society. The 3rd defendant is also convict of stealing N38, 000.00. 1st and 3rd defendants are hereby sentenced to one year imprisonment for unlawful society, one year for breach of peace. The 3rd defendant is therefore sentenced to two years imprisonment for stealing.” The judge therefore warned that the parties should maintain peace and order in Ijeshatedo area of Lagos State. “It is clear to the court that there was a riot in Ijeshatedo area, all other members of each party is hereby warned to maintain peace and order. The judgment is not to be jubilating as to who won or otherwise. If any of the parties found causing mayhem in the area, the police should bring them directly to the court.” The judge further held that it is obvious that the complainant’s sons also belong to the unlawful society but they were not charged before the court.
The prosecution led by F.O Ligali called five witnesses including the police investigator and the compliant during the trial. The defendants counsel, Mrs. A.O Adeyemi in her allocutus however urged the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing the convicts.
“My lord, the defendants have been of good behaviour since they were granted bail and they have been attending court regularly. They are first time offenders, we urge the court to give them lesser punishment.