Ikeja - An Ikeja Magistrates' Court on Thursday discharged an alleged armed robber, Lukman Ifayinka, 31, following advice from the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecution.
The Magistrate, A. Oshodi-Makanju, discharged the accused and ordered his release from prison as he had no case to answer.
She said:"I hereby order, forthwith, the release of the accused from prison custody. "He is hereby discharged."
The DPP's advice, dated May 31, stated that after careful consideration of the facts, no prima facie case of conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery was established against the suspect.
According to the advice, the allegation to commit robbery and robbery, which are contrary to Section 295 and 297 (3) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2011, was not disclosed against Ifayinka.
"To establish a prima facie case of armed robbery, prosecution must prove that there was robbery or series of robbery, that the robbers were armed and the accused person took part in the armed robbery," the advice stated.
The DPP noted that the complainant had identified two men on a bike as the suspects in the robbery, which the accused denied involvement in.
It said, "Identification of the suspect is an issue in this case and where the punishment relates to a capital offence, the Court has held that poor identification be treated with caution.
" It submitted that the case against the suspect is based on suspicion and suspicion, no matter how strong, can not be basis for criminal responsibility".
The magistrate consequently discharged the accused and ordered his release from prison custody-- "as the ingredient of armed robbery were not presented in the case against him.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ifayinka was arraigned on Jan. 23, 2012 on a two-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery.
The accused had since then been in prison awaiting the DPP's legal advice.
The prosecutor, Insp. Samson Ekikere had told the court that the accused conspired with others at large, to rob Mrs Amuafu Afonji.
He said the accused and the others, armed with a locally made pistol and other dangerous weapons, robbed the complainant of her handbag containing N35, 000 and a chain valued N15 000.
The prosecutor said that the offence was committed on Jan. 6, 2012 at Obanikoro, Lagos.
Ekikere said that the offence contravened Sections 1(2) (a), and 5, of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Cap 398, Vol. XXII, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 1990 (Amended).