Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
A High Court, sitting in Ikirun, Osun State, has sentenced a 25-year-old man, Tajudeen Ganiyu, to death by hanging, for killing a four-year-old boy, Tesleem Bakare.
According to the Information Officer, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Opeyemi Bello, Justice Jide Falola, recalled that the convict took the victim from his grandmother, Mrs. Raliatu Bakare, to go and buy groundnut for him.
He was said to have run away with the boy before he was arrested by some youths who launched a search for the accused as directed by the father of the boy, Isiaka Bakare.
The convict was eventually arrested and taken to the palace of Aragbiji of Iragbiji, where he was handed over to the police. He confessed to the police to have killed the boy and led them to the bush at Iragbiji where they found the remains of the boy.
The convict was arraigned in October 2017 for conspiracy and murder, which he pleaded guilty to. The court recalled that the other three accused were discharged after investigations and exoneration by the convict.
The court noted that the convict, during his trial on February 14, 2018, pleaded guilty to the crime but claimed to be mentally challenged.
Justice Falola stated that the convict could not give a satisfactory evidence of where he has been confirmed or treated for mental problem.
He said the accused did not exhibit any sign of insanity in the box as observed by the court. He answered all questions satisfactorily in the box during the proceeding.
The court submitted that the young boy was slaughtered like a ram and thereby convicted the accused as charged.
The Legal Aid Council, who represented the convict, Mrs. Esther Napoleon, prayed the court to be merciful in sentencing the convict, noting that he is a first offender.
Justice Falola however ruled that the convict should be hanged by the neck until he dies. He advised parents to be extra-vigilant and be careful of leaving their children to strangers.
The convict who was tied to the back with a rope was said to have disappeared sometimes in 2017 at cockcrow.
It was gathered that the handcuff on the convict broke at some point at cockcrow and was later re-arrested by the police.
Since then he has been taken to the court with his two hands tied with rope to the back.
The Principal State Counsel, Mr. Jacob Ayanyemi, commended Justice Falola for delivering the judgment without fear.