A High Court in Ekiti State has sentenced four men to death by hanging for dispossessing their victims of phones, necklace, wristwatches and other valuables at gunpoint.
The defendants, who were convicted of armed robbery, are Dada Ajayi (22), Mathew Osalade (23), Adebisi Ogundare (23) and Busayo Adeniyi (23).
The defendants were arraigned on August 24, 2020, on seven counts of conspiracy, armed robbery, attempted murder and cultism, contrary to sections 516, 402(2) and 320 of the Criminal Code Cap. C16, Laws of Ekiti State 2012, and Section 4(1) of the Secret Cults (Abolition and Prohibition) First Amendment Law, No. 6, 2017.
One of the victims, Joshua, who testified before the court, said, “We were coming from a show in Ekute Quarters of Ado Ekiti around 4am. We boarded a bike billed to take us to Odo-Ado. When we were approaching Odo Ado area, he suddenly stopped at a lonely place.
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“Before we asked what happened, other boys came out of hiding; they pointed guns at us; some of them held axes and knives. They robbed us of our phones, necklace, wristwatches and other valuables. The matter was reported at a police station before they were later arrested.”
The police prosecutor, Albert Adeyemi, who called six witnesses, tendered the defendants’ statements, one locally-made pistol, live ammunition, two axes, two cutlasses, 12 handsets, among others, as exhibits.
The defendants, who spoke through their counsel, called no witness.
In his judgment, Justice Bamidele Omotoso said, “I resolve the sole issue for determination in this case partially in favour of the prosecutor and against the defendants. They are found guilty of the offences of conspiracy, armed robbery and attempted murder.
“The punishment for armed robbery is death. For the offence of armed robbery, the sentence of this court upon the defendants is that they be hanged by the neck until they be dead, may God have mercy on your souls”.
The court also sentenced the defendants to life imprisonment for attempted murder and seven years’ imprisonment each for conspiracy.
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