An Igbosere High Court in Lagos yesterday sentenced a man, Tijani Idris, to 15 years imprisonment for conspiring with an armed robber.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye convicted Idris – the first of two defendants – after he struck a plea bargain deal with the Lagos State Government, pursuant to Sections 75 and 76 of the state’s Administration of Criminal Justice Law of 2015.

The deal, approved by the court, saw him pleading guilty to a lesser one-count charge of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery, contrary to Sections 403A and 402(2)(A) of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State 2003.

The second defendant, who was not named, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and armed robbery which carry a maximum sentence of death by hanging.

Before handing down the sentence, Justice Akintoye acknowledged the terms of the plea bargain prepared by the prosecution counsel, Mr Sunmonu Babatunde, an Assistant Director in the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The judge observed that the first defendant had shown remorse for his actions and had saved the time of the court.

She also noted that: “The first defendant agreed to plead guilty to the offences of conspiracy to commit robbery and robbery with a lesser sentence of 15 years.

“That the first defendant has been in custody since September 24, 2008.

“That a term of 15 years imprisonment commencing from the date of remand at the Magistrate Court is approved by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, subject to the court‘s final approval.”

Upholding the agreement, Justice Akintoye held: “The defendant is hereby sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. This sentence takes effect from September 28, 2008.”

Earlier, Babatunde reviewed the facts of the case.

He said: “About 12:30pm on June 19, 2008, along Badagry Seme Expressway, the defendants were arrested following a complaint by one Benedict Victor that he was robbed by them at Mowo Bus Stop and the sum of N6,000 and a mobile phone was stolen at gunpoint.

“During a search, a locally made pistol, 9mm live ammunition, three mobile phones and the sum of N6,000, were recovered from the defendants.

“The defendants were taken before Magistrate Court 19 Igbosere/Tapa on September 24, 2008 and were remanded by the court.

“They were on remand before the case was assigned to Justice (Adeniyi) Adebajo (rtd of the Lagos High Court).”

He explained that the trial could not be concluded before Justice Adebajo retired. The matter was then re-assigned to Justice Akintoye where it commenced de novo…”

“They were arraigned before this Honourable Court on February 16, 2016 on a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit robbery and armed robbery, to which they pleaded not guilty, but changed their plea midway into the trial” Babatunde added.