The Proprietor of Xontec Hotel on Igosun Road, Offa, in the Offa Local Government Area of Kwara State, Mr. Kadir Surajudeen, and members of his staff have been arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court in Ilorin, the state capital, for failing to give police credible information on the gunmen who attacked some banks in the area.
Also arraigned were four guests who stayed in the hotel at the time the assailants allegedly lodged in Xontec Hotel.
Suspected armed robbers, who robbed five banks and killed scores of people on April 5, were alleged to have stayed in the hotel before going for the operation.
Our correspondent learnt on Wednesday that the hotelier and his staff were arraigned on two counts of criminal conspiracy and causing disappearance of evidence, including giving false information to screen an offender.
The staff members of the hotel arraigned with Surajudeen included the accountant, receptionist, room keeper and clubhouse operator.
According to the First Information Report, the offences contravened sections 97 and 167 of the Penal Code Law.
The report said, “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 prosecutor, Mr. David Wodi, told the court that investigation into the case was ongoing.
The defence counsel, Joshua Ijaodola, pleaded with the court to admit the accused to bail pending the outcome of investigation.
He argued that the country’s constitution presumed the accused innocent until the contrary was proved.
Wodi did not oppose the application for bail.
The Magistrate, Mrs. M.B. Folorunso, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
She adjourned the case till May 3 for mention.