Just In : Armed robbery suspect regains freedom after spending six years in Prison
A Yola High Court has discharged and acquitted a robbery suspect, Suleiman Ibrahim, from Gyawana, Numan local government area after he had spent six years in prison.
The Chief Judge, Justice Hafsat Abdulrahman, said the suspect was tried and found not guilty on a one-count charge of armed robbery contrary to Section 2 of the Robbery and Fire Arms (Special Provisions) Act.
Ibrahim was accused of robbing one Mr. Samson Bernard of his day’s job pay as well as Techno handset valued at N7,000 at Gokombo village in Lamurde local government area on April 22, 2017.
He was arraigned on July 30, 2018, pleaded not guilty of the alleged offence when the case was mentioned.
In a bid to prove its case, the prosecution called two witnesses who testified as PW1 and PW2, while the defendant testified for himself as DW1 after which both the prosecution and the defence closed their cases and adopted their final written addresses.
Under cross examination by the defence counsel, assistant chief legal aid officer, Legal Aid Council, Mohammed Abubakar, said the alleged victim (Mr. Samson Bernard), who testified as PW2, contradicted himself in his testimony as to the specific time the robbery occurred.
While he affirmed in his testimony that he used his motorcycle’s light to flash and identify the defendant on the road, he contradicted himself when confronted with his statement to the police where he clearly stated that his motorcycle does not have light.
He again stated that he had a reason why he told the police that his motorcycle did not have light, thereby contradicting himself by saying that his motorcycle has light.
In her judgement, Justice Abdulrahman held that the testimonies of PW1 and PW2 did not link the defendant with the alleged crime, saying, “There was no iota of evidence linking the defendant with the offence of armed robbery or assault or of causing hurt.”
She said, “It is trite that the Court is at liberty to reject the testimony of a witness who contradicts himself as the Court cannot choose which part of the testimony to believe and which not to believe. I accordingly in that light hold that the testimony of PW2 being contradictory is hereby discountenanced”
She declared that based on the testimonies of the witnesses, it is unfortunate that none linked the defendant with the alleged crime, saying that the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt as the absence of the testimony of PW2’s uncle to say the least, is fatal to the prosecution’s case.