On Monday, an Osun State High Court in Osogbo condemned four men to death by hanging for crimes involving an armed robbery and the murder of Victor Akinbile, who was reportedly related to the outgoing deputy governor of Osun State, Mr. Benedict Alabi.
The defendants, Hammed Rafiu, 37; Rasidi Waidi, 39; Kayode Sunday, 29, and Owolabi Bashiru, 54, were initially charged with six counts of armed robbery and murder before Justice Jide Falola on October 23, 2019.
They had entered a not guilty plea to the charges.
Akinbile had traveled to Osun on November 26, 2018, for the swearing-in ceremony of the former governor, Adeboyega Oyetola, and had gone to Ikirun to pass the night when he was kidnapped by the four guys, according to prosecution counsel from the state ministry of justice, Dele Akintayo.
According to Akintayo, one of the defendants, Owolabi, a security guard employed by a home across from where the victim planned to spend the night, alerted others to the victim’s approach.
The four men allegedly confined the deceased in the Toyota Camry’s trunk after they had received the money, then drove him to a location along the Osogbo/Ikirun road where they set the car on fire. This was claimed by the defense attorney.
The defendants’ attorneys, Ajibade and Adedayo Adedeji, had earlier informed the court that there was no evidence to support their claim that they had met before committing the deed.
Justice Falola sentenced the four men to death by hanging after ruling that the prosecution’s attorney had proved his case beyond a reasonable doubt.
He further maintained that the deceased’s widow should receive the money taken from the convicts and the money in their bank accounts.
Additionally, he stated that owing to the seriousness of the crimes the convicts committed, none of them should be eligible for a state pardon.
In related news, Justice Falola on Monday sentenced Mutiu Azeez (also known as Tompolo), 41, and Afolabi Mayowa, 35, to death by hanging for armed robbery and murder.
Dele Akintayo, the attorney for the prosecution, said the court that on July 1, 2018, between 6 and 7 am, the defendants requested a ride to Egbeda from a rider of a commercial motorcycle.
He added that Mayowa Olatokun, the motorcyclist, was already taking the men to the prearranged location when they abruptly halted and took him into a bush, where he was killed and his motorcycle was taken away.
Adedayo Adedeji, the defendants’ attorney, had pleaded with the court to be forgiving of them.
They were later judged guilty by Falola, who gave them a hanging death sentence.