Six persons to die by hanging in Osun for murder, armed robbery

Justice Jide Falola of an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo on Monday sentenced six persons to death over murder and armed robbery.

The judge convicted Hammed Rafiu, 37, Rasidi Waidi, 39, Kayode Sunday, 29, and Owolabi Bashiru, 54, a security guard, docked before the court on October 23, 2019, on six counts including setting ablaze the cousin of former Osun state deputy governor, Benedict Alabi after forcing him to transfer the sum of N3 million into Rafiu’s account.

They were also docked for conspiracy to commit murder, stealing, kidnapping, and armed robbery contrary to sections 6(b), section 1(1), and (2) (a) (b), of the Robbery and Firearms (special provisions) Act, Cap R11, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 324, 319, 390(9) and 364 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume 2, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.

Prosecution counsel from the Ministry of Justice, Dele Akintayo, said the four-man gang murdered one Victor Akinbile a cousin of Mr Alabi who traveled down to Ikirun, Osun State on November 26, 2018.

He added that the fourth defendant, Bashiru, a security guard opposite the building Akinbile lodged at Moboroje area, informed others of the deceased arrival.

They (convicts) forcefully entered the building and demanded the sum of N10 million from their victim but transferred N3 million into Bashiru’s bank account number, collected cash with him before kidnapping him in his Toyota Camry car and set it ablaze with the victim locked in the trunk along old Iragbiji road, Ikirun.

Hammed Rafiu and Rashidi Waidi were arrested at Ogijo in Ogun State, Kayode Sunday in Ondo State, while Owolabi Bashiru was nabbed in Ikirun.

During trial, prosecution counsel called four witnesses and tendered several exhibits to prove his case while the convicts testified for themselves.

Counsel to Owolabi Bashiru, fourth accused person, S. Ajibade and Adedayo Adedeji who represented the other defendants had earlier told the court that there was no evidence to show that the accused persons held a meeting before the robbery incident and urged the Court to discharge and acquit the accused.

However, Justice Falola disagreed and held that the prosecution has proved his case beyond reasonable doubt and convicted the defendants on all the charges against them

In his judgment, he sentenced them to death on murder charge, life imprisonment for armed robbery, five years jail term on conspiracy to steal, and seven years jail term for stealing.

He also ruled that none of the convicts should benefit from any kind of state pardon, adding that any cash found on them and their bank accounts should be returned to the deceased wife.

Similarly, the Judge also sentenced two armed robbers to death by hanging for killing a commercial motorcyclist after stealing his motorcycle.

The defendants, Mutiu Azeez (a.k.a Tompolo) 41, and Afolabi Mayowa, 35 were said to have hired Olatokun Mayowa, a motorcyclist to take them to Egbeda, via Iragbiji for an agreed sum of N300 on July 1, 2018, around 6 am.

During trial, a witness called by the prosecution counsel, Dele Akintayo testified that the duo on getting to Saaji village, having armed themselves with cutlasses forced him to stop, took him into the bush, tied him to a tree and smashed his head with a stone, thereby leading to his death.

The offenses contravened Sections 6(b), (2) (a), (b), of the Robbery and Firearms (special provisions) Act, Cap R11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria,2004, section 324, and 319 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume 2, Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.

The prosecution called just one witness while the defendants, who were represented by Mr Adedayo Adedeji, testified for themselves.

Justice Falola convicted the defendants on all charges having agreed that prosecution proved his case beyond a reasonable doubt.

He then sentenced the convicts to death by hanging for murder and armed robbery, as well as seven years jail term for conspiracy.

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