Three Accused Persons Discharged on the Offences of Conspiracy and Armed ROBBERY
It was a good way to begin the year in Legal Aid Council Asaba, Delta State office on the 6th of January, 2021 when the thrio of Chukwudi Uche, Friday Joseph and Friday Chinedu were discharged by High Court Asaba for the offences of Conspiracy and Armed robbery.
The accused persons were arrested sometime in August 2017 and charged to court thereafter. A 2 count information of conspiracy to commit Armed robbery and the substantive offence of armed robbery was filed against them late 2018. Due to covid 19 lockdown, the trial was delayed.
In October 2020 fresh plea was taken before a new Judge. After the plea was taken, the prosecution were absent from court on a number of adjourned dates.
The case was adjourned on three different occasions at the instance of the prosecution.
Counsel to the accused person (O.O. Ofiaeli Asst. Chief Legal Aid Officer) sought for the last adjournment to the 6th of January, 2021.
On the last date of adjournment, the prosecution counsel (Doris Ukpedor, Senior State Counsel) urged the court to grant them another adjournment on the ground that their only witness, a police officer is on an official assignment to Maiduguri, Bornu State and further that they could not secure the attendance of the nominal complainant.
O.O. Ofiaeli Esq of the Legal Aid Council was able to convince the court that the evidence of a police officer alone cannot ground conviction in a charge of such nature, and the length of time the accused persons have spent in prison be considered by the court. He therefore applied and urge the court to discharge the three accused persons which was upheld by the court.