Omolara Ogundiran, a sister and witness of one of those arrested over the bloody robbery incident in Offa, Kwara state, has been arrested by the police in court.
The graduate of Ire Polytechnic, who is the younger sister of the fifth defendant, Niyi Ogundiran, was taken away around 3:40 pm by operatives of the state police command immediately after the trial that started at 9:00 am.
At the resumed trial of Ayoade Akinnibosun, Azeez Salahudeen, Niyi Ogundiran, Ibikunle Ogunleye and Adeola Abraham on Friday, February 2, over the robbery incident in 2018, Omolara Ogundiran was called in as a witness by the defence counsel, Mathias Emeribe, who tendered a receipt which she said was issued by a spare parts seller in Osogbo, Osun state to her brother.
Testifying in court, she said;
“I went to Osogbo to collect a receipt for some motor spare parts of the vehicle bought by Niyi on the day of the robbery. When I got to Mallam Ali’s shop (motor spare parts seller), I met him attending to a customer and he said I should sit down and pray for one not to be unfortunate in any situation.
“So he opened the receipt and saw the duplicate before he issued another one to me and I left. I saw Mallam Ali inside the court premises today and he greeted me. But I can’t see him inside the court now”.
During cross-examination, she said;
“I am a religious Christian and attended primary school in Ise Ekiti. I also went to secondary school in Oro but don’t remember the name before I proceeded to Ire Poly for my OHD.
“I can’t remember the day or month, but it was last year 2023 that I went to Osogbo for the receipt. Mallam Ali wrote the receipt in my presence before he gave it to me and wrote the date that my brother came to buy the items (backdated it to April 5, 2018).
“When I came back to Ilorin, the receipt was with me and I only gave it to my lawyer when they were talking about it. I was in court when my brother was giving evidence on the case. Niyi and I are siblings but it’s God that will fight for him not me”
Niyi Ogundiran had also told the court that he was never in Offa town on the day of the robbery incident but travelled to Osogbo to purchase spare parts for the second defendant’s vehicle.
After listening to arguments by both the defence and prosecution counsels on the admissibility of a 10-paragraph affidavit brought by the defence counsel on the receipt, the presiding judge, Justice Halimat Salman rejected the admissibility of the receipt as evidence, describing it as a sham.
Justice Salman said the defendant cannot seek to tender any evidence through the backdoor while they had all the opportunity to do so at various stages of the trial which started about six years ago.
“For you to now remember after about six years to present receipt speaks volumes. It seems like one looking back while facing front. The court doesn’t operate by application but by law. The receipt is not enough. It’s a sham. I won’t say more than that. The signature in the affidavit is also different from the one on the receipt. It lacked merit”
The judge later adjourned the case to Tuesday, April 9, 2024, for the adoption of written addresses by the counsels.