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Ekiti court sentences 3 to death for robbery

An Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti has sentenced three persons to death by hanging. The court also sentenced one person to 10 years imprisonment while setting another free.

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

According to the charge, the defendants Babalola Bidemi, 28, Akinwale Oluwaseun, 26, Oyebanji Sola, aka Solademmy, 31, Jimoh Azeez, aka Asela, 31, and Ogunlade Babatunde, 28, on March 10, 2018 at Oke Oniyo Street, Ado Ekiti conspired to commit felony, to wit, armed robbery.

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

In her statement to the police, one of the victims said: “I was sleeping in my room, around 1 am. 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 a formal report.

To prove his case, the prosecutor, Dolapo Oyewole, called five witnesses and tendered defendant statements, phones, wraps of Indian hemp, and motorcycle with ignition among others as exhibits.

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

Adeyinka Opaleke, counsel to Akinwale Oluwaseun, in his submission, proved his innocence of the alleged offence.

In his judgement, Justice Lekan 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 10 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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