Three to die by hanging for armed robbery in Ekiti

An Ekiti High Court in Ado-Ekiti has sentenced three convicts to death by hanging for armed robbery.

At the beginning, five defendants, Bidemi Babalola, 28, Oluwaseun Akinwale 26, Sola Oyebanji (a.k.a Solademmy), 31, Azeez Jimoh (a.k.a. Asela), 31, and Babatunde Ogunlade, 28, were arraigned before Justice Lekan Ogunmoye.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the five men, whose addresses were not provided, were arraigned on January 30, 2020, on five counts of conspiracy, armed robbery, possession of firearms, receiving stolen properties and membership of a secret cult.

Delivering his judgment, the trial judge said said: “In all, the sole issue for determination is resolved in part in favour of the prosecution, I accordingly order 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 items received by him were products 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 of 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.”

During the trial, the Prosecution counsel, Dolapo Oyewole, informed the court that the convicts committed the offences on October 3, 2018 at Oke Oniyo Street, Ado-Ekiti.

Oyewole called five witnesses and tendered the defendants’ statements to the police, phones, wraps of Indian hemp, a motorcycle with its ignition key among others as exhibits.

The  prosecution counsel said the convicts  conspired to commit armed robbery and on the fateful date did rob Tijani Omowumi and Ogunrinde Olumide of their phones, Plasma television, wrist watch, necklace, shirts, trousers, shuttle bag, N5,000, among others.

According to the counsel, as at the time of the robbery, they were armed with a big stick, club, stone, cutlasses and a gun.

The offences, Oyewole said were 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.

However, the defendants gave evidence in their own defence and called two witnesses.

Adeyinka Opaleke, counsel to Akinwale Oluwaseun, argued and proved the innocence of his client of the alleged offence leading to the latters discharge and acquittal.

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