…Court jails 5 policemen 25 years each for robbery
By FAITH OMORUYI
A Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja yesterday sentenced five policemen to 25 years imprisonment each for armed robbery. Bestman Denner, Musa Mohammed, Peter Enidiok, Godwin Williams and Emmanuel Ajogbor were sentenced after the court found them guilty of the charge of conspiracy and robbery preferred against them.
Delivering the judgment, the trial judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole held that the prosecution had been able to bring sufficient evidence to prove the case against the convicts, adding that the fact that the defendants were policemen was an ‘aggravating factor.’
The court stated that the sentence would run concurrently, beginning from March 3, 2005 when they were first remanded in prison custody. “I have duly considered the allocutus. “However, the defendants are policemen trained to protect the public and not otherwise. This in itself is an aggravating factor.
“The defendants took advantage of their being members of the Nigerian police force to rob citizens. “Using the police uniform to rob is a bad signal to the public because it will erode people’s confidence in the police force.
“The image of the police should not be dented to the extent that members of the public will begin to see police checkpoints as an armed robbers’ locations,” the court held. In the charge preferred against the policemen, they robbed a lorry loaded with George and Lace materials around 9:00p.m on November 17, 2002 along the Ikorodu-Ijebu Ode Expressway.
According to the prosecutor, Patience Alu, when the robbed lorry was going to Benin with the goods, the defendants who were at a checkpoint on the road ordered the driver of the lorry and his assistant to get out of the vehicle.
According to her, the defendants forcefully collected the keys from the occupants of the vehicle, Ogundare Sadiru and Peter Akpovile and drove it away to an undisclosed location. She added that Sadiru and Akpovile later went to report the matter at Igbogbo Police Station in Ikorodu.
The prosecution said the lorry was later found at Acme Road, Ikeja, Lagos without any of the goods. Some of the goods were found in one of the defendants’ apartment during police investigation.