The Supreme Court yesterday upheld the death sentence passed on one Freeborn Okiemute by a Delta High Court sitting at Ozoro for armed robbery. In a unanimous judgment, the apex court dismissed the appellant’s seven grounds of appeal as contained in the brief of arguments submitted by his lead counsel, Ayo Asala.
While upholding the concurrent judgments of both the trial court and Court of Appeal, Justice Suleiman Galadima, who delivered the lead judgment, agreed with the submission of the respondent represented by the Delta State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor, who argued that the Court of Appeal was eminently right when it upheld the conviction and sentence of the appellant to death by the High Court of Ozoro, Delta State in case No. HC2/13C/2008 on July 14, 2010. On November 14, 2006 at Ozoro within the Ozoro Judicial Division, the appellant, Freeborn Okiemute and others now at large robbed one Mathilda Egbamuno of the cash sum of N500,000, jewelries, wrappers and other personal belongings while armed with gun.
The appellant was convicted by Justice Marshal Umukoro of Ozoro High Court, now the Chief Judge of Delta State on count one and five of a five-count charge (conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery) and sentenced him to death by hanging while he was discharged and acquitted in respect of the other four counts. Dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial court, the appellant filed a notice a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeal, Benin Division challenging the judgment on the High Court. On November 15, 2012, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and affirmed the judgment of the lower court that convicted the appellant.