Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
An Ado Ekiti High Court wednesday sentenced a man, Kingsley Okorowande, to death by hanging after being found culpable of armed robbery.
Six suspects were initially arraigned for the offence but four of them, Eze Stephen, Toyin Faturoti, Ojo Gboyega and Alomaja Sunkanmi, escaped during the Ado-Ekiti prison jailbreak.
Handing down the verdict, the presiding Judge, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye, said the prosecution has proved the case against the suspect beyond reasonable doubt.
The judge held that the offence committed by the convict was contrary to Section 1(2)(a) of Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap R11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2014.
According to the charge sheet, the incident occurred on or about the 6th day of November, 2013, at Ori Apata Natha area of Basiri, Ado-Ekiti.
The convict robbed one Mrs. Medinat Babatunde, of her laptops, handsets, jewelry, wristwatches and the sum of N210, 000 while armed with offensive weapons such as guns and cutlasses.
The convict was first arraigned on 21st February, 2017 and when the charge was read to him, he pleaded not guilty.
The fifth accused person, Sulaimon Sunday, who was on bail, jumped bail. The charges were later split to give room for the speedy trial of the convict.
Prosecution counsel, Mr. Ayodeji Jayeoba, called four witnesses including two police officers and the complainant.
Defence counsel, Mr. Lekan Olatawura, did not call any witness in defence of the convict. During the trial, exhibits tendered included statement of the accused, a hammer, a saw blade, a live cartridge, cut-to-size pistol, among others.
Justice Ogunmoye ruled: â€œFrom the evidence before me, the prosecutor definitely had an upper hand in proclamation of his gospel before me that he had succeeded in convincing me.
â€œThe prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the defendant. In all, the sole issue for determination is resolved in favour of the prosecution. The defendant is guilty as charged for armed robbery.
â€œThe mandatory sentence in a case of the defendant convicted for armed robbery is death penalty.â€
â€œThe defendant is hereby sentenced to death by hanging. May God have mercy on your soul.â€