Police Arraign Hotelier, Staff For ‘Hiding Information’ In Offa Bank Robbery

The Police  on Wednesday arraigned the owner and staff of an hotel before a magistrate court in Ilorin, Kwara State, for allegedly withholding information on suspects in the deadly April 5 bank robbery in Offa.

About 30 persons, including nine police officers were killed when a gang of robbers attacked the main police station and six banks in Offa, Kwara State.

The robbers were believed to have lodged at Xontex Hotel in Igosun, from where they proceeded to unleash terror on neighbouring Offa just a few kilometres away.
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Those brought before the court include the proprietor of the hotel, Kadir Surajudeen; his accountant, Hassan Kehinde; the receptionist, Bello Bilquis; and the room keeper, Williams Sunday.

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The prosecutor, David Wodi, a police Inspector, charged the accused with criminal conspiracy, causing disappearance of evidence, and
giving false information to screen an offender.

According to the prosecutor, the hotel staff could not satisfactorily give account of the robbery suspects who lodged in their hotel, by maintaining or keeping record of proper official lodgers register, expected to be presented to the police and other law enforcement agents on request.

Mr Wodi also accused the hotel staff of failure to give the police credible information obtained when the suspects lodged in their hotel.

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The prosecutor who said the offences contravened sections 97 and 167 of the Penal Code law left the release of the hotel staff on bail to the discretion of the court, but told the court that investigation into the robbery incident was still in progress.

Responding, counsel to the accused, Joshua Ijaodola, pleaded with the court to admit the accused persons to bail pending the outcome of the investigation.

He noted further that the Constitution of Nigeria presumes an accused innocent of allegations until proved otherwise.

In her ruling, the Magistrate, M.B Folorunsho, granted the bail request for the accused in the sum of N200,000.00 each and adjourned the case till May 3 for further hearing.