15th March, 2011
Two senior staff of the Union Bank branch at Herbert Macaulay Street, Ebute Meta in Lagos, Nigeria, Jonah Uroko Ishiwu, 50 and Oladaisi Ibukun, 44, have been docked for robbery.
On the orders of the Ebute Meta Magistrateâ€™s Court, they have also been remanded in Ikoyi Prisons for their alleged involvement in the robbery of the bank on 17 February 2011.
The accused and two security guards, Musendiku Tijani, 26 and Yusuf Hakeem, 26, were arraigned by detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, Lagos State, before the court for allegedly robbing the bank of N11 million and some yet to be estimated amount in foreign currency, from the bankâ€™s treasury.
It was gathered that Jonah and Oladaisi, who have served the bank for 26 and 20 years respectively, were alleged to have conspired to leave behind the bankâ€™s vault keys after the close of work in order to allow armed robbers have access to the bank at about 2 a.m. on the day of the incident.
The robbers were said to have successfully carted away N11,365,000.
Musendiku and Yusuf, who were security guards at the bank, were alleged to have allowed the armed robbers free passage without raising any alarm.
The accused persons were arraigned on a four-count charge of conspiracy, felony and armed robbery, which, according to the prosecutor, Mr. A.O. Fadipe, a police officer from SCID, are punishable under Sections 516, 519 and 509 of the Criminal Code Cap C.17, Vol. II, Laws of Lagos State, of Nigeria 2003.
Count two of the charge read: â€œthat you, Jonah Uroko Ishiwu, Oladaisi Ibukun, in the Lagos Magisterial District on 16 February, 2011, as members of staff of Union Bank Plc, situated at the aforementioned address before and after the close office work, did conspire among yourselves to leave behind the upper treasury key of the bank in order to allow armed robbers to have access into the bankâ€™s treasury at about 2 a.m. of 17 February, 2011 and carted away N11.365 million and some yet to be estimated foreign currencies from the bankâ€™s treasury and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code Cap C17 Vol. II Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003,â€ while count three stated â€œthat you, Musendiku Tijani, Yusuf Hakeem, on 17 February, 2011, at about 2 a.m. in the aforementioned Magisterial District, being the night duty security guards of the above mentioned bank, did become an accessory after the fact to have allowed armed robbers to enter your place of work/duty post, an offence punishable under Section 519 of the Criminal Code Cap C 17 Vol. II Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.â€
They pleaded not guilty to the charges against them but their plea was not taken based on the first count.
The two security guards were granted bail by the presiding judge, Chief Magistrate Philip O. Ojo, in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in the like sum, who must show evidence of paying tax to the Lagos State government, means of livelihood and residing within the magisterial district.
As for the senior staff of the bank, due to count one of the charge which the prosecutor said was contrary to Section 6(b) and punishable under section 1(2)(a) of the Armed Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap 146 Vol. II, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 as amended, the Chief Magistrate ordered that they should be remanded, pending the outcome of advice from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).
The case was adjourned till 14 April, 2011 for trial.
â€”Paul Sanusi & Abosede Agboola