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By NBF News

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has discharged and acquitted Aminu Mohammed who was convicted for conspiracy and attempted murder of late Afenifere leader, Senator Abraham Adesanya by a Lagos High Court.

Aminu Mohammed and Lateef Sofolahan had been sentenced to 28 and 31 years imprisonment respectively on April 8, 2009 by Justice Olusola Williams of the Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere for conspiracy and attempted murder of the late Adesanya. Dissatisfied with the judgment, Mohammed through his lawyer, James Ocholi (SAN) prayed the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.

In its lead judgment delivered by the presiding judge, Justice Raphael Chikwe Agbo, which was unanimously adopted by other justices, the appellate court allowed the appeal and set aside the judgment of the lower court.

The court agreed with the appellant counsel that the testimony of the chief prosecution witness, Sergeant Barnabas Jabila, alias Rogers was unreliable, hence, the lower court erred when it anchored its judgment on his testimony.

It held that from the totality of the witness' testimony, he could not have been reliable. It stated that the judgment of the trial court was unwarranted, having regard to the evidence adduced at trial.

The appellant, had in his 20 grounds of appeal, attacked the credibility of Rogers on the combined grounds that, he was a liar, he contradicted himself on material facts in the case and that he admitted that he changed his earlier statement to implicate the Aminu Mohammed (1st Defendant) only after he had been subjected to a dehumanizing experience to wit: stooling in a bucket and using the same bucket to bath among other things.

The appellant described Roger as a sponsored witness, who killed at the command of the state, lied freely at the instruction of the state and did anything the state instructed. In addition, the appellant contended that the trial judge erred in law when she decided to ascribe credibility and acceptability to the evidence of Rogers in all its ramification before even considering the evidence of second prosecution witness, Abdul Mohammed, a.k.a Katako, thus failing to consider the totality of the prosecution case as she was duty bound to do.

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By: Tina Turna