Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court has freed a 32-year-old tailor, Femi Kazeem, who was incarcerated at the Kirikiri Maximum Correctional Centre on charges of armed robbery.
Mr Kazeem was accused of robbing a man of a phone while armed with an iron rod. He was also charged with robbing a woman of a handbag.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judge freed Mr Kazeem due to the inability of the prosecution to bring witnesses to testify.
Prosecution counsel, O.A. Bajulaiye-Bishi, had informed the judge that one of the witnesses was not interested in following up the case while the other could not be located.
“The witness whose phone was stolen said it is just a mobile phone and that he had got another phone,” she said.
Following the submission, defence counsel, A.K Chalokwu, applied to the court to dismiss the case and discharge the defendant.
Freeing Mr Kazeem, Mrs Taiwo said: “Though the defendant is charged with armed robbery, I am inclined to grant the application of the defence.
“I hereby discharge the defendant pursuant to Section 232(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2021 as amended.”
On hearing that he has been set free, Mr Kazeem raised his hands in jubilation and repeatedly prostrated before the judge.
The defence lawyer also expressed gratitude to the court.
According to the prosecution, the defendant committed the alleged offences on August 28, 2018, at Ejigbo Bus-stop, Isolo, Lagos.
“The defendant, while armed with an iron rod, robbed one Prince Jombo of his Infinix Hot 5 valued at N39,500.
“He also robbed one Chidinma Ikeh of her handbag containing N40,000.
“The offences contravene Section 297(2)(a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015,” Mr Bajulaiye-Bishi has said. (NAN)