By Toby Prince
Five of the suspects arrested over the robbery of several banks in Offa, Kwara State on April 5, 2018 on Friday pleaded not guilty to all the charges levelled against them.
The suspects, arraigned at the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin, pleaded not guilty to five counts of conspiracy, robbery, illegal possession of two AK- 47 firearms and culpable homicide.
Defence counsel Mathias Abaribe had asked that he be given a week to enable him to meet with his clients and prepare for their defence, but the prosecutor raised objections to the request.
Justice Halimah Salma subsequently adjourned the case till January 7, 2019, for the commencement of definite trial.
The police had last week confirmed the death of one of the principal suspects in the case Michael Adikwu.
Kwara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Kamaldeen Ajibade told the court that the police informed him that Adikwu had died in custody.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, who has been accused of complicity in the robbery, has asked President Muhammadu to institute a judicial inquiry into Adikwu’s death.
The police insist the death did not vindicate Saraki who had been indicted in the case after the suspects claimed that he (Saraki) and Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed sponsored them.
They had alleged that he gave them “firearms, money and vehicles”.