By Seriki AdinoyiÂ in Jos andÂ Â Victor OgunjeÂ in Ado Ekiti
There was mild drama at an Ekiti State High CourtÂ on FridayÂ after one Ajewole Dada Fulani was sentenced to life imprisonment for rape. The 24 year old, was standing trial for robbing, kidnapping and raping two female students of the College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti on 7th November, 2015 along Ikere-Igbara Odo Road.
This is as the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie,Â on FridayÂ paraded two allegedÂ serial rapists and eight others for vandalising electric cables and murder of Alhaji Yahaya Umar of Jengre community of Bassa Local Government Area of the state.
The verdict was handed down by Justice John Adeyeye who held that the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt. Immediately the verdict was translated to the convict, he suddenly became emotional, furious and restless.
Ajewole thereafter hit the court window and broke the louvers and stabbed himself with it and attempted to stab other people inside the courtroom.
It took the intervention of security personnel who grabbed the convict from wounding more people inside the court.
He was subsequently handcuffed and bundled into a waiting Black Maria. Court workers, litigants and other observers were shocked by the convictâ€™s bravado.
Ajewole, on the day of the incident, conveyed the two College students in is commercial vehicle but diverted the vehicle to the bush, tied them to a tree and raped them one after the other.
The victims later escaped from the scene and reported the incident at the Ikere Main Police Station along College Road.
Ajewole was first arraigned at an Ado-Ekiti Magistrateâ€™s Court but the case was transferred to the High Court after an advice from the office of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
He appeared for the first time at the High Court on 16th November, 2016.
To prove the case, the DPP, Mr. Gbemiga Adaramola, called four witnesses and tendered exhibits which included the accusedâ€™s statement and a vehicle with registration number EMR 218 XA.
The accused called two witnesses to support his denial of the offence.
The court after listening to the oral argument of Adaramola and defence counsel, Mr.Â SundayÂ Ochayi, ruled: â€œThe prosecution has not proved the essential ingredients of the offence of robbery against the accused.
â€œIn conclusion and for the avoidance of doubt, the accused was found guilty of the offences of kidnapping and rape as charged in Counts 1,2and 3 and he is accordingly convicted to life imprisonment.â€
The Police Commissioner lamented that the Command had received over 20 cases of rape in the last three months and advised parents in the state to take adequate care of their children and shield them from unnecessary exposure.
Adie assured the public that the suspects would be charge to court to face the wrath of the law, if found guilty of the offences.
He said “One Gambo Muhammed, a 50-year-old man of Sabon Layi in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State lured Aisha Ibrahim, an 11-year-old girl into his room and had carnal knowledge of her. Also, Ibrahim Dahiru, a 34-year-old man, on two different occasions, lured the same girl to his room and also had carnal knowledge of her on his matrimonial bed.
“The two suspects, when arrested and interrogated confessed to the crime. Investigation has been concluded and they are to be charge to court soon.”
He said Police detective laid ambush at Tina Junction and arrested seven persons who conspired and climbedÂ a Communication Mast, property of IHS Tours and dismantled it with the aim of selling them off.
The CP explained that on interrogation, one of the suspects Kabiru Mohammed a staff of Multi Links Company confessed to the crime and revealed that they had settled the security man detailed to secure the property, Mr. Christopher Ezenya with N10, 000 before they were allowed to have access to the mast.
He said rope, spanners, Iron rods and Aviation and warning lights were recovered from the suspects and assured they would be charged to court soon as investigation was completed.