A Lagos High Court in Igbosere has sentenced 36-year-old man, Demola Ajibade, to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour for attempted robbery.
Justice Sedoten Ogunsanya convicted Ajibade of attempting to rob a Customer Care Executive, Charles Akpati, with a toy gun on February 7, 2014.
The sentence, which takes effect from the date of his arrest in February 2014, was without an option of fine.
Ajibade, from Ijebu Ode in Ogun State, but resident in Festac Town, Lagos, was arraigned on June 24, 2014 on a one-count charge of attempted robbery.
Prosecuting counsel Adebayo Haroun said the offences contravened Section 296(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Ajibade pleaded not guilty.
Akpati testified that Ajibade stopped him on the road near the bus garage at Ikorodu and claimed that they were former neighbours at Festac Town.
Akpati said: “I asked him to explain how we met and he mentioned my secondary school, Festac College.
“Not long after that, he said someone did not like me, especially at my office and that he had been mandated to kill me. He lifted his shirt a little. There was a gun there. He said he would kill me and that was what he did for a living. He said eyes were on me and I could not escape because his gang members were in hiding, watching us, but that he had decided not to kill me.”
The witness said Ajibade demanded for N300,000 to spare his life, but he negotiated for N100,000. Ajibade accepted and followed him to the nearby Guaranty Trust Bank so he could withdraw the money.
Akpati said: “He followed me to the bank and on getting to the security door; he said he would not enter with me because of the gun and warned me not to misbehave when I got inside.”
The witness said he quickly informed the bank’s security officials, who, along with a mobile policeman, Corporal A. Richard, from the nearby Access Bank, pursued and arrested Ajibade.
Richard testified that the gun was a toy.
According to the prosecution, police investigation showed that Ajibade specialised in internet scams and had been fraudulently obtaining money from victims in Italy.
Ajibade denied the allegation.
He claimed that Akpati owed him money and refused to pay. Rather he set him up for an unlawful arrest by the police.
But Justice Ogunsanya held that Akpati’s testimony, as well as that of the other eyewitnesses, including the exhibits tendered were credible.
The judge added,”The victim positively identified the defendant as the person who tried to rob him. The court is satisfied that the defendant is as guilty as charged.”