Ikorodu bank robbery suspects drag police to court

Akin Kuponiyi

Suspected Ikorodu Armed Robbers, L-R Promise Abiwa, Agbojule Bright, Monday Omoboye, and Monday Ikuesan
Photo: Idowu Ogunleye

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria has adjourned till September 7, 2015 for hearing, a suit seeking an order of the court compelling the police to bring to court the four robbery suspects paraded in connection with the recent bank robbery in Ikorodu, Lagos.

The court adjourned the case to enable the Inspector General of Police and other respondents react to the suit filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Olusegun Akanbi, on behalf of the four suspects.

The suspects – Agbojule Bright, Promise Abiwa, Monday Omoboye and Monday Ikuesan, on July 6, 2015 were paraded by the police in connection with the robbery of the Ipakodo branches of First Bank and Zenith Bank in Ikorodu, where an 18-man gang, which they allegedly belonged to, carted away about N80m on June 24, 2015.

The four suspects had reportedly confessed to playing different roles in the robbery while three Sport Utility Vehicles allegedly bought from the proceeds of the robbery were recovered from them.

In their suit filed before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, their lawyer, Akanbi, claimed that the police violated the right of the suspects to remain silent or to avoid answering any questions until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any person of their choice as stipulated by Section 35(2) of the 1999 Constitution.

Akanbi stated that the suspects “made confessional statements to the members of the press out of duress”, contending that the police had no right to parade the suspects to be interviewed by the media “unless such a suspect wishes to give an interview after the matter has been charged to a court of competent jurisdiction.”

According to the lawyer, the suspects might not be able to get fair trial in court since they have “already suffered prejudice in the eye of the public due to unfair publicity and unprofessional acts of the defendants.”

He claimed that the police had neither allowed him nor the family members of the suspects to see them since their arrest.

“The applicants’ constitutional rights under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution are at stake because the defendants have already taken a bias position by denying the applicants’ family or their counsel their right of visiting them in police custody,” he said.

“It will be in the interest of justice if the applicants are brought before this honourable court so that the court can ascertain whether the applicants are still alive.

He claimed that the suspects were entitled to damages for what he described as their unlawful detention, urging the court to award N5m against the defendants in their favour.

View Comments

  • This is a question of Law, why should the police violate the law ? Before the law ,we are all innocent until proven otherwise, some of these suspects may just be guilty by association, it's about time the police should stop asking for "confession" bring forth the evidence - in court , not in the press, all the high profile political murders are now cold cases because there is no confession, this Lawyer is bringing about change which we all voted for, I don't know what monies he can get from the suspects ? We as a nation should learn to follow due process and the rule of law not jungle justice when it pleases us, kudos to you my learned fellow !

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  • That lawyer is a professional to the core. Many of you do not know the judicial system and right even if you are a murderer the police has no right to maltreat you.

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  • I understand the emotion behind all these attack on this Lawyer, but we ought to understand that any criminal is a suspect until proven guilty by the court of law.

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  • with this wind of change blowing... the strengths of the Constitution as regards the rights of citizens as well as the limitation of security agencies is getting more awareness...

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  • Mr.lawyer,I put it to you that you're among the criminals,,,your profession lack truth and therefore,I advice you quit the case for your own goood.

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  • This is a funny lawyer. We know the job of Nigerian legal practitioners might be dual, but there are cases that don't deserve this type of counter litigation, especially in a country where clandestine activities are very high. Enough evidence abound in this case to prosecute these guys from the newspaper publications I read. Or are we trying to encourage armed robbery because we are looking for money.

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  • This lawyer Akanbi should be investigated. How can any lawyer come out to defend those bastards.

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  • Litigations for robbery suspect Lawyer Akanbi are you serious ? You are asking 5million for criminals? This is unreal !!!. You are encouraging violation of morality, this is very senseless. Justice department should suspend your license, this is ridiculous, all because of money.

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