A suspected cross-border armed robber yesterday passed on in Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, Lagos.
The 42-year-old deceased identified as Hamani Tijani, was said to have suffered partial stroke in the last nine months.
He was said to have died around 9am at the prisons’ clinic.
Tijani, a citizen of Niger Republic was arrested in September 2003 in Cotonou, Benin Republic, and moved to Abeokuta, Ogun State briefly before he was transferred to Kirikiri.
His remains has been deposited at the Ikeja General Hospital mortuary pending further instruction from the appropriate authority.
Confirming the incidence, prisons spokesman, Biyi Jeje, said that the service had invited state officials to examine Tijani’s heath condition in December 2013 for his possible transfer to another hospital.
According to him, a team of medical experts were sent to the prison by the Lagos State Government before Christmas, who examined him but the outcome of their findings was not made available to the service.
The deceased has spent the last 11 years in prison custody while standing trial before Justice Sybil Nwaka of a Lagos High Court, on three counts of conspiracy, armed robbery and receiving stolen goods.
In the course of the trial, the deceased had through his lawyer, J.H. Bashir, filed a “no case submission’’ and asked the court to discharge and acquit him for lack of diligent prosecution, but his request was refused by Justice Nwaka in a ruling delivered on October 23, 2013.
Tijani had in his application, reminded the court that of the six witnesses listed by the prosecution, it had only called one Sergeant Oluwemimo Banjoko as a witness eight years ago (2005) adding that, no further witness testified in support of the prosecution.
He argued that after much waiting and no progress was made in the matter, his lawyer applied that the case of the prosecution be closed which was granted by the court.
In his application, Tijani wanted the court to determine whether the prosecution has established a prima facie case of conspiracy to commit robbery as contained in section 403A of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State.
He also asked whether the testimony of the only prosecution witness was enough for him (Tijani) to answer the allegation of armed robbery.
His lawyer submitted that for an offence of conspiracy to exist, there must be evidence before the court that the defendant constituted direct involvement, adding that, mere suspicion was not an offence in law.
He told the court that the burden of proof in adversarial criminal justice system demands that the prosecution proves its case beyond all reasonable doubts.
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