There was a mild drama and disbelief at the Chief Magistrates’ Court 11, Lokoja, Kogi State on Thursday when Mohammed, the eldest son of a former governor of Kogi State, the late Abubakar Mohammed Audu, was charged with armed robbery.
Mohammed was arrested on Wednesday night when he honoured the invitation of the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad at the “A” Division Office of the Nigeria Police Force in Lokoja and he was subsequently detained.
The police charged him to court on Thursday.
Apart from armed robbery, other charges in the First Information Report filed by the police against Mohammed were criminal conspiracy, causing mischief and grievous hurt as well as attempted culpable homicide, all contrary to sections 97 (1), 248, 327, 298 and 229 of the Penal Code.
In the said FIR, Mohammed’s uncle, Alhaji Yahaya Audu, who was the complainant in the case, alleged that he was attacked by some hoodlums in his home at Ogbonicha on August 30.
Yahaya said it was by sheer miracle that he escaped from his assailants, who, he said, were shooting sporadically during the attack.
The police prosecutor, Mr. Otowu Gabriel, told the court that though investigation into the matter was still ongoing, findings by the police linked Mohammed and others still at large with Yahaya’s attack.
The lead defence counsel, Mr. Okechukwu Ajunwa, however, contended that there was nothing in the charge that linked his client to the attack.
Ajuwa urged the court to admit his client to bail in line with the provision of Section 36 (5) of the constitution, and in view of the fact that the police were still investigating the case.
He assured the court that his client would neither abscond nor interfere with police investigation if granted bail.
He said his client was a prominent member of the society, who had no reason to abscond, pointing out that Mohammed was not arrested but he voluntarily went to the police station to honour their invitation.
In his response, the prosecutor said he did not wish to oppose the bail application but would allow the court to use its discretion.
After listening to the parties, the Chief Magistrate, Alhassan Hussain, admitted Mohammed to bail, with a directive that he must make himself available for every court session.
The court adjourned till September 29, 2016 for further proceedings in the matter.