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Offa Robbery Police drag hotel owner, staff, guests to court

They were charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence.

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Police officers 'took N400,000' from robbers before Offa robbery play Victims of Offa robbery (Ochuwa Igbano)

The Kwara State Police Command has charged nine people to court in connection to the recent armed robbery attack in Offa, Kwara state, that led to the death of dozens of people.

A group of at least 30 armed robbers had attacked Union Bank, Eco Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, Zenith Bank and Ibolo Micro Finance Bank, as well as the Owode Police station and killed dozens on April 5, 2018.

According to a report by The Punch, the proprietor of Xontec Hotel on Igosun Road in Offa, Kadir Surajudeen, has been charged to court alongside four members of his staff and four guests who stayed in the hotel at the time the robbers allegedly lodged in Xontec Hotel. The robbers allegedly stayed in the hotel before embarking on the operation where they went on a killing spree.

The accused were all arraigned before a Magistrate's Court in Ilorin, the state capital, for failing to give police credible information on the gunmen. They were charged with two counts of criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence, including giving false information to screen an offender.

The hotel staff charged along with Surajudeen are the accountant, receptionist, room keeper and clubhouse operator.

According to the First Information Report, the accused were unable to help investigators with useful information that could assist investigation into the crime, offences that contravened sections 97 and 167 of the Penal Code Law.

The report read, "On April 6, a team of operatives on investigation into the armed robbery attack extended their investigation based on intelligence gathering to the hotel on Igosun Road in Offa with a view to securing information that could assist discreet investigation into the crime.

"The hotel staff could not, however, satisfactorily give account of questionable lodgers in their hotel prior to the robbery by their failure to maintain or keep proper official lodger register expected to be presented to the police and other law enforcement agencies on demand.

"Others found in the hotel during the investigation failed to give credible information to the police operatives to assist in the investigation concerning their observation in the hotel within the period in question."

The defence counsel, Joshua Ijaodola, asked the court to grant the accused persons bail, a motion that was not objected to by the prosecutor, David Wodi, who told the court that investigation into the case was ongoing.

The Magistrate, M.B. Folorunso, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 each with two sureties each in like sum and adjourned the case till May 3, 2018.

ALSO READ: Watch footage of Offa bank robbery that claimed over 30 lives

Many suspects arrested

At least 19 suspects have been arrested in connection to the robbery incident which sparked outrage across the country.

Even though the official death toll for the incident is nine policemen and eight civilians, reports have indicated between 30 to 50 people died as a result of the attacks.

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