Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe of a Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja has sentenced a middle-aged man, Toheeb Korede, to seven years imprisonment for attempted robbery. Delivering judgement on a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery slammed on Korede by the Lagos State Government (LASG), the judge held that the prosecution had successfully proven that the defendant attempted to rob a man. The judge found out that the complainant was not very sure of the number of people who robbed him and that there were contradictions between his evidence and that of the IPO.
The trial judge declared that the prosecution had not successfully proven that the defendant conspired to rob the complainant and that he robbed the complainant. The judge discharged and acquitted the defendant on both counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery. Justice Abike-Fadipe, however, found that the defendant was not completely free of any offence, as a pistol was found in his bag. The judge said that the defendant had a handmade pistol on himself, and intended to rob the complainant, but was stopped. Justice Abike-Fadipe said that the defendant must learn that carrying an unlicensed weapon is a grave offence. The judge consequently convicted Korede of attempted robbery contrary to Section 298(1) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State. The jail term, according to the judge, is to run concurrently from the day of remand. Earlier, in pleading with the court for leniency, defence lawyer, Ayodele Kusamotu, sought for a lesser sentence for the convict, while the prosecution asked the judge to use her discretion to give her sentencing. The prosecution had told the court that the offence contravened Sections 299 & 297(2) (a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015 when it brought the two-count charge of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery against the convicted Korede. The convicted Korede was arraigned on November 17, 2020, after his arrest on the day of the attempted robbery November 11, 2020, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge against him. The prosecution team led by Adebanke Ogunode, brought the complainant and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) who oversaw the arrest to bear witness against the defendant. While the complainant was being cross-examined after his testimony before the judge, he said he was robbed at night by three men who rode on one motorcycle. The complainant told the court that he was at Jakande bus stop in Eti-Osa Area of Lagos State where he was looking out for a motorcycle to ride home, but fell victim to the robbers. He insisted that he saw Korede and that he was one of the two individuals who robbed him of his smartphone and a sum of N125,000 with a locally made pistol, while the other was on the motorcycle.