Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
One Raji Babatunde has been sentenced to death by hanging by an Ekiti State High Court after being found guilty of armed robbery.
Handing down the judgement, Justice Cornelius Akintayo held that the prosecution has proved the case against Babatunde beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge, however, discharged and acquitted the second accused person, Adegboye Sunday, owing to lack of sufficient evidence.
None of the witnesses called to give evidence in the case linked the second accused person to the commission of the crime leaving the court with no option than to set him free.
The charge sheet preferred against Babatunde read that he was a member of a four-man robbery gang that terrorised a house at 15 Odundun Street, Okesa and 5C, Dallimore Street both in Ado-Ekiti on June 30, 2014
The offence is punishable under Section 1(2)(a)of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act Cap R11 Vol 14 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
They robbed one Alhaji Mudsahiru Bello of two Nokia phones, one Tecno phone while armed with offensive weapons such as axe and cutlass.
The accused persons allegedly robbed one Oladele Femi of one bottle of Star lager beer, six bottles of trophy lager beer and one packet of Rothmans cigarette, while armed with axe and cutlass.
They first appeared before the High Court on February 1, 2016 when the charges were read to them. They, however, pleaded not guilty.
In the course of the robbery, some policemen on patrol arrived the scene. Three members of the gang escaped while Babatunde was arrested while trying to escape with the proceeds of the crime.
Babatunde while making a statement to the police mentioned the name of the second accused person, Sunday, which led to his arrest but he was saved by the testimony of the witnesses which did not link him with the crime.
The prosecution called four witnesses while exhibits including voluntary confessional statement, four machetes, one knife, one bottle of Trophy beer, broken bottle of Star beer, one radio set and one fez cap.
The only witness called by Babatunde was his mother who testified that she and her son were coming from a church vigil saying she was surprised to hear that he was arrested for robbery.