The police, on Tuesday, brought to court two men, who, on February 22, broke into a Lagos judge’s house in Ikoyi, stealing $1,000, N250,000, four wristwatches, a 50-inch television, two shirts and two pairs of shoes.
The suspects — Friday Eze and Anuoluwa Adeware — alongside their alleged accomplices, Rasaq Bolaji and Beatrice Elom, were arraigned on 15 counts before the Federal High Court in Lagos.
According to the charge by the police, Eze and Adewale, alongside one Monday Uvi and others still at large, invaded the judge’s home armed with a Beretta pistol, a cutlass and a cudgel and disposed him of his belongings.
Series of robberies
Apart from robbing in the Lago judge’s house, the gang, in different operations, robbed one Mr and Mrs Odunlami, one Montego Oil Company, one Dr Matthias Kelvin and Olukemi Kelvin and one Damilola Akinwale.
They were said to have invaded the home of the Odunlamis at Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, on January 14, dispossessing the couple, at gunpoint, of three phones, two wristwatches, all valued at N1.5 million, gold jewellery valued at N60m; and cash sums of £680,000, $50,000 and N306,000.
In another operation on January 27, the gang broke into the office of Montego Oil Company in lkoyi, making away with a laptop valued at N589,000; another laptop valued at N128,000; and one TB external drive, worth N15,000.
Also, on March 6, 2020, they invaded the home of Dr Matthias Kelvin in Ikoyi, robbing him of four phones, one tablet, three one laptop, two laptop chargers and a wristwatch.
Olukemi Kelvin was robbed of one phone worth N400,000; another valued at N50,000, one valued at N800,000, one tablet valued at N400,000; a sound system valued at N1 million; as well as jewellery, wristwatch and necklace valued at N900,000.
Similarly, in a March 6 operation, the gang swooped on one Damilola Akinwale on Alexander Road, Ikoyi, dispossessing her of one phone valued at N550,000, another valued at N250,000 and a cash sum of N100,000.
The police, in the charge sheet, alleged that 34-year-old Eze and 35-year-old Adeware carried out their armed robbery operations on the counsel of the third defendant, 50-year-old Bolaji, who conveyed them in a green-coloured car to the sites of the operations and back to their different houses
The fourth defendant, 55-year-old Beatrice Elom, was accused of receiving N2.4m “being proceeds from armed robbery operations” from Eze, “a person you know or have reason to know that he does not have means.”
The prosecution said defendants acted contrary to and were liable to punishment under Section 1(2)(a) and (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap R11 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
However, upon their arraignment before Justice Ayokunle Faji, they pleaded not guilty to the entire 15 counts pressed against them
The prosecuting counsel for the police, J. I. Eboseremen, prayed the court for trial date and an order remanding the defendants in the prison custody.
The defence counsel, Sodiq Sulaimon, noted that he would be filling bail applications for his clients.
Justice Faji, while adjourning the case till September 28, directed the parties to file written addresses to convince him that the Federal High Court had jurisdiction to hear the case.