Court Sentences 3 To Death By Hanging For Armed Robbery In Ekiti

Court Sentences 3 To Death By Hanging For Armed Robbery In Ekiti

An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has sentenced three men, Oyebanji Sola, 31; Jimoh Azeez, 31; and 28-year-old Ogunlade Babatunde to death by hanging for armed robbery.

The court also sentenced a 28-year-old Babalola Bidemi to 10 years imprisonment while setting Akinwale Oluwaseun (26) free.

They were arraigned before Justice Lekan Ogunmoye on 30th January, 2020 on five-count charge bordering on conspiracy, armed robbery, receiving stolen properties and membership of secret cult.

According to the charge, “the defendants on 3/10/2018 at Oke Oniyo Street, Ado Ekiti within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire to commit felony, to wit; armed robbery.”

On the said date, they robbed one Tijani Omowumi and Ogunrinde Olumide of their phones, plasma television, wrist watch, necklace, shirts, trousers, shuttle bag, and cash sum of N5, 000, among others.

“As at the time of the robbery, they were armed with big stick, club, stone, cutlasses and gun, the offences are contrary to Sections 6 (b), 1(2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap.RII, Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 4 (1) of the Secret Cults (Abolition and Prohibition) ( First Amendment) Law, No. 6 of 2017”.

One of the victims in her statement to the police said, “I was sleeping in my room, around 1:00 a.m, suddenly, I heard a big bang on my door, when I woke up, I saw two men in my room holding stick and cutlass, after slapping and beating me with the stick, I was ordered to lay face down, while they carted away my plasma television, phones, bag, cash sum of N5, 000 and others, thereafter, they dragged me out with intention of raping me but was discouraged by another member of the gang. I went to the police station the following day to make formal report”, she concluded.

The prosecutor, Dolapo Oyewole called five witnesses and tendered defendants’ statements, phones, wraps of Indian hemp, motorcycle with ignition among others as exhibits to prove his case.

The defendants spoke in their own defence through their respective lawyers and called two witnesses.

Mr Adeyinka Opaleke who is the counsel to Akinwale Oluwaseun in his submission, proved his client’s innocence of the alleged offence.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Ogunmoye said, “In all, the sole issue for determination is resolved in part in favour of the prosecution, I accordingly ordered as follows; the first defendant (Babalola Bidemi), though a first offender, was the one that encouraged the offence of armed robbery, in that he knew that the item received by him was a product of armed robbery, his sentence should serve as deterrence.

“He is accordingly sentenced to ten years imprisonment. The second defendant Akinwale Oluwaseun is discharged and acquitted in all the charges, while the 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants Oyebanji Sola, Jimoh Azeez and Ogunlade Babatunde are found guilty as charged, they are hereby sentenced to death by hanging”.

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