From Adedeji Joseph, Ilorin.
Proprietor of the hotel that lodged suspected armed robbers a night before they unleashed vicious attacks on Offa banks and a police station has been charged to court.
The hotelier was arraigned before a magistrate court in Ilorin, the state capital, alongside some members of staff of the hotel for alleged conspiracy.
Staffers of the hotel arraigned are the accountant, a receptionist, a room keeper and the club house operator
Also arraigned are four lodgers who were staying in the hotel at the time the suspected robbers lodged there.
All the accused including the four lodgers are of residential addresses in Offa town.They were arraigned on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence as well as giving false information to screen offenders.
The police prosecutor said the offences contravened sections 97 and 167 of the Penal Code Law.
Accordimng to the police, on April 6, 2018 a team of operatives on investigations into the armed robbery attack extended their findings based on intelligence gathering to the hotel located along Igosun Road in Offa with a view to securing information that could assist in investigation.
They said the hotel staff could not however satisfactorily give account of questionable lodgers in their hotel prior to the robbery. The accused failed to maintain or keep proper official lodgers register expected to be presented to the police and other law enforcement agencies on demand, the prosecution added.
“Others found in the hotel during the investigation failed to give credible information to the police operatives to assist in the investigation concerning their observation in the hotel within the period in question,” says the Police First Information Report (FIR)
The prosecutor, Inspector David Wodi, told the court that investigation into the case was yet to be completed.
The defence counsel, Joshua Ijaodola, prayed the court to admit the accused to bail pending the outcome of the investigation as he submitted that the nation’s constitution presumed the accused innocent until the contrary is proved
The prosecutor did not oppose the application for bail as he left the bail to the discretion of the court.
The Magistrate, Mrs M.B. Folorunso exercised bail discretion in favour of the accused and admitted them to bail, each in the sum of N200, 000 and two sureties in like sum and adjourned the case till May 3 for further mention.