By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan on Wednesday sentenced 3 men, Femi Olasupo, Musbau Oloyede and Ahmed Akinsanya to 120 years imprisonment for conspiracy and illegal possession of firearms.
The accused persons were found guilty of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, as well as, illegal possession of firearms recovered from them which corroborated the allegation of illegal possession contrary to the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Laws of the Federation.
In his judgment, Justice Gbolagunte relied on Section 2(3) and 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) and accordingly sentenced the three accused persons to “20 years on count 1 of conspiracy, and 20 years on count 2 of illegal possession of firearms.
“In my view, the recovery of firearms in possession of the accused persons is sufficient to justify their guilt. It was my decision after the trial-within-trial that the accused persons fell guilty of conspiracy. They were jailed together at Ilesa Prison and released at about the same time.”, he said
According to Justice Gbolagunte, ” Count 1 is well founded and sustained in this case.” saying, ” I therefore hold that the accused persons are guilty of the offences as charged”.
The judge stressed that the “sentences are to run concurrently with the time they have spent in custody after the arrest deducted from the sentence.”
“I therefore make an order that the exhibits recovered from the convicts be seized and destroyed by the State,”
New Nigerian recalled that
the three persons were arrested by men of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in 2011 after some neighbours of Femi Olasupo reported him to the security agents claiming that he had no source of livelihood and was harbouring some people of questionable character who were terrorising residents of the area.
The prosecution, in the suit marked I/1786/2012 filed before Justice Adegboye Gbolagunte of the Ring Road High Court 7 with the
first accused person upon his arrest and investigation, led the security agents to an uncompleted building behind Mr Bigg’s eatery at Iwo Road, Ibadan, where four barrel guns were recovered.
The arrest of the second suspect led to the arrest of Musbau in whose possession, some illegal firearms were also recovered at another uncompleted building around Iwo Road area of Ibadan.
When the third accused person was arrested however, no arms were recovered from him but evidence from the prosecution witnesses revealed to the court that the trio had earlier been jailed together at the Ilesa, Osun State Prison from where they were released around the same time, only to form a gang operating around Iwo Road of Ibadan.
According to the prosecution, the trio made confessional statements, although in their defence evidence, they alleged they tortured by men of SARS and that they were forced to sign the statements.
Their counsel Oluwole Olukole had argued before the court that the accused persons were not arrested at any crime scene, and that no forensic test was conducted on the firearms to link the accused persons and prayed that they be discharged and acquitted.