An Investigating Police Officer, Insp Yusuf Rilwan told an FCT High Court, Kubwa that a dismissed soldier, Friday Audu rented a locally-made pistol to three armed robbers for N10, 000.
Rilwan, who is attached to the anti-violence crime section, FCT command made this known at the resumed trial of Audu who is charged alongside Tochukwu Nwodo, Micheal Danmulak and Gabriel Ileso.
The defendants are charged with possession of firearms and attempt to commit armed robbery.
The witness, led in evidence by the Prosecution Counsel, Adama Musa said the defendants’ statements were recorded by him and his team leader, SP Auta Mathias.
” The defendants’ statements were recorded in the presence of their relatives and their former lawyer, Onah Onoja.
“I asked them orally to narrate their own side of the story and I asked if they could read and write. They asked me to help them do write the statements down. I did and read it out loud to them,” Rilwan said.
He added that the statements were endorsed by his team leader, Mathias.
During Cross-examination, the defence counsel, Tajudeen Adegbite asked if any of Rilwan’s team arrested the defendants and if he was aware that Audu was a soldier.
Responding, the witness said Audu was arrested by his team after the other defendants were arrested by Insp Audu Akaja and the team during a stop and search operation in Nyanya, Abuja.
“It was the confession of the defendants that led to the arrest of Audu. They revealed that he rented out the locally-made pistol for N10, 000 to them and they used it during robbery operations within the Nyanya axis.
”On the day they were arrested they were on their way for another robbery operation. They also confessed to previous operations after their arrest,” he said.
The witness added that Capt. John Okafor from the military police confirmed to his team that Audu was dismissed officially from the military.
Justice Kezziah Ogbonnaya adjourned the matter until April 28 for the continuation of the hearing, however, the defendants pleaded not guilty.
The police alleged that the defendants were arrested at Mopol Junction, Nyanya, Abuja with a locally-made Berretta Pistol and rounds of ammunition on Dec. 27, 2018.
The offence, the police said, contravenes the provisions of sections 3, 8, 9 (1)(2) of the Firearms Act LFN 2004 and is punishable under sections 27(1)(a)(i), 6 (a)(b)(c) of the same act.