A bus conductor, Sunday Olalekan, was on Tuesday sentenced to 21 years imprisonment by a Lagos High Court in Ikeja, having found him guilty of robbing one Nkong Remi on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013. The convict, 22, who resides at 15, Papa Unity Road, Imedu-Ibafo area of Ogun State, was arraigned by Lagos State Government on one-count charge bordering on robbery.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charge. According to the prosecution, Olalekan had on the said date, at Gani Fawehinmi Garden Ojota, robbed his victim of her handbag, phones and other valuables. Counsel to the prosecution, Mr Akin George, maintained that the offence was contrary to Section 294 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.
At yesterday’s trial, Remi, the victim, told the court that she was driving an ash colour 4-wheel drive on February 14, 2013, while going to drop her sister at the park around 6:15am when the robbery attack took place. In her statement to the police, she said, “There was small traffic jam so we slowed down.
I heard a loud shout and as I turned to my side, there was a black boy with a mark on his eye, he was accompanied by two other boys; he came to the car window and forced it down. The other two boys jumped in.” Remi also explained that the assailants also robbed her sister; rough-handled her and fondled her breast before she could drive off.
“I returned back to the Gani Fawehinmi park around 7am and was told by some boys at the park that some boys were caught and taken to Alausa Police Station. “When I arrived the station, they asked me if I could recognize the boys and I said yes I could recognize the one with a swollen eye. “They took me in and I identified him (i.e, the convict),” she added. However, the convict, who testified in yoruba language, denied all the allegations.
He claimed he’d gone to 7up premises at Ojota to wait for his boss, one Tunde, but did not see him. “I met one Jelili, a co-conductor, who we works with Tunde and I. After waiting for Tunde till 06:00pm and did not see him, Jelili suggested that we should go to the new garage to see if we can see another motor to work with. “We were approaching New Garage when we saw those PSG people at Owens Park; they claimed that some people had robbed a motorist not quite long. “They stated further that we are the people that robbed them.
They started beating us and later handed us over to the police. “I did not rob any person or persons,” the convict stated. Delivering her judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, held that the testimony of Remi, the victim, was consistent during cross-examination, stressing she was able to identify the assailant because he was close, having rough-handled and fondled her breasts, while robbing her. “I have carefully considered the total evidence of the prosecution. The essential ingredient is that there must be a robbery incident; and the accused was one of those who took part in the act.
However none of the stolen items were recovered. “I have carefully studied Exhibit 1, which is the statement of the defendant. The defendant was in the company of his friend Jelili when he was arrested on February 14, 2013. “In the light of what I have said, I hereby find you Sunday Olalekan guilty of the offence of robbery and sentence you to 21 years imprisonment as stated by law,” the judge said.