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Robbery: Court in Rivers starts trial for 3 dismissed soldiers, others

During the hearing on Wednesday, the prosecuting lawyer, F. D Sokari, representing the Inspector-General of Police...

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Robbery: Court in Rivers starts trial for 3 dismissed soldiers, others

The Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt, has commenced trial for three soldiers and ten other persons for alleged armed robbery, burglary, and receiving stolen property.

The suspects were charged by the Nigerian Police Force with armed robbery, burglary, and receipt of stolen property.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the prosecuting lawyer, F. D Sokari, representing the Inspector-General of Police, presented their first witness, Emmanuel Nwogu.
He consented to the extrajudicial statement he made to the police being tendered as evidence.

However, the defense counsel, Monday Stephen-Akpekon, objected, stating that the complainant’s written statement had not been provided.

Following the objections, Sokari requested an adjournment.

The Presiding Judge, Justice G. O Ollor, instructed the prosecution to ensure all necessary documents are made available for the next hearing.

The case was adjourned until July 17, 2024, for further proceedings.

Outside the courtroom, Stephen-Akpekon reiterated that his client, West Isaac, is innocent. He criticised the Nigerian Army for dismissing him without a proper investigation.

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Sokari mentioned that the case involved 13 suspects, one of whom was removed due to health reasons. He expressed optimism about the progress of the prosecution.

The Rivers State Police Command had previously announced the arrest of the suspects, including the soldiers, for crimes such as armed robbery and hijacking of food trucks.

An operative of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps was also among those arrested.

The arrests came after a thorough investigation following an initial arrest for suspected burglary.

After investigating, the Nigerian Army subsequently dismissed the soldiers involved in the criminal activities.

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