An Osun State High Court, on Monday, sentenced four men to death by hanging for armed robbery and murder.
The convicts, Hammed Rafiu (37), Rasidi Waidi (39), Kayode Sunday (29), and Owolabi Bashiru (54), were arraigned before the court on six count charges on October 23, 2019.
The charge sheet then then listed conspiracy, contrary to section 6(b), armed robbery, contrary to and punishable under section 1(1) and (2) (a) (b) of the Robbery and Firearms (special provisions) Act, Cap R11, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, Conspiracy to murder, contrary to section 324, murder contrary to and punishable under section 319, stealing contrary to and punishable under section 390(9) and kidnappingcontrary to and punishable under section 364 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume 2, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.
According to the prosecution counsel from the State’s Ministry of Justice, Dele Akintayo, the four men ganged up and murdered one Victor Akinbile, a cousin to a former deputy governor of the State, Adegboyega Benedict Alabi, who had travelled down to Ikirun, Osun State, on the November 26, 2018 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Alabi and Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
They had pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, but the court ordered their remand in a correctional facility. During the trial, investigation revealed that Hammed Rafiu, Rashidi Waidi and Kayode Sunday had earlier robbed Alhaji Azeez Olusegun behind Oluwo’s House Eweta, Ikirun on October 8, 2018 where the trio stole a Toyota Camry with registration number JJJ 371 AA Lagos and also collected ₦620,000.
Barrister Dele Akintayo, the prosecution counsel, during the trial called four witnesses and tendered several exhibits before the court, while the convicts testified by themselves.
Counsels to the convicts, Barrister S.B Ajibade and Adedayo Adedeji had earlier told the court that there was no evidence to show that the then accused persons committed the offences, and urged the court to discharge and acquit them accordingly. Justice Falola agreed that the prosecution proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt and therefore convicted the accused on the six counts charges preferred against them.
In his judgement, Justice Jide Falola, who described the case as technical, applauded the police for a job well done and sentenced the accused accordingly on count one – life imprisonment, count two – death sentence, count three – life imprisonment, count four – death sentence, count five – five years imprisonment and count six – seven years imprisonment.
He further ruled that all the cash recovered from the convicts and cash in their bank accounts should be handed over to the wife of the deceased, with the recommendation that none of the convicts should benefit from state pardon.