4th October, 2013
An armed robbery suspect, Emmanuel Oyibo, has died in prison custody. He was facing trial at the FCT High Court in Abuja and was remanded in prison custody when his case first came up in July this year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that court records show that the robbery case involving the deceased was reported at the Kubwa Police Station on April 14 by Mr Moyosore Anthony of Gbazango, Kubwa, Abuja.
Anthony had told the police that on the same day, at about 8.a.m., he was sitting inside his car when about three men approached and asked him to alight from the car.
He said that the men demanded for his car keys but he refused to hand it over to them.
“They brought a gun and a big hammer and threatened to shoot me on the leg,” Anthony’s statement reads.
He said that he released the car key and two of the robbers drove away in his car.
“The third man (Oyibo) wanted to drive away with the car they brought, but I dragged the steering wheel with him until he had an accident,” Anthony said.
He said that the police were later invited to the scene by his neighbours and Oyibo was arrested.
The accused was first arraigned on 25 July without legal representation, and the judge adjourned the case till 3 October after directing that the Legal Aid Council be contacted to provide legal services for the accused.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, Mr Francis Johnson from the Legal Aid Council, was to represent the accused before the death was reported.
The prosecution counsel, Miss Adenike Akinnuoye, then asked the court to discontinue the suit.
Justice Usman Musale of an FCT High Court on Thursday struck out the case .
Delivering the judgment, Musale said it would be impossible for the prosecutor to continue with the case after the death.
“By a letter dated 18 September 18, the Nigerian Prison Service (Medium Security Prison) in Kuje, Abuja communicated the demise of Emmanuel Oyibo at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada to the court.
“The death certificate shows that he died on 10 September from bacterial meningitis.
“Since prosecutor cannot practically continue with the case, the case is struck out,” the judge said.