Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has sentenced six persons to death by hanging for murder and attempted murder.
The convicts are Oniyelu Olu (63); Folorunso Oluwatoba (65); Peter Ajayi (73); Tijani Arowolo (80) who died during the pendency of the suit in court; Dolamu Olaide (29); John Ojo (77) and Lateef Arowolo (45).
Justice Lekan Ogunmoyewho, passed a death sentence on the convicts, said the prosecution successfully established a prima facie case of conspiracy, attempted murder and murder against them.
The convicts were charged to court for offences contrary to Sections 516 of the Criminal Code Law, CAP C16; Section 320 of the Criminal Code Law CAP C16 and Section 316 of the Criminal Code Law, of Ekiti State, 2012.
The prosecutor informed the court that the offence was committed on or about February 7, 2017 at Ilupeju Ekiti when they conspired to murder one Sola Adeniyi (27).
According to the charge sheet, the convicts also attempted to murder another commercial motorcyclist, Ojo Olaoluwa (22), who gave evidence that the 2nd accused person (Folorunso Oluwatoba) stopped him on that fateful day when he was about to mount his bike.
Olaoluwa told the court that he asked Oluwatobo to open his bag as they were approaching a police check point because he noticed blood dropping from the bag.
According to the commercial motorcyclist, the convict answered that he was carrying a grass cutter and refused to open the bag.
Olaoluwa said Oluwatoba took to his heels when it was perceived that the content of the bag might be incriminating as he (Olaoluwa) received a gun shot from his back.
The prosecutor, Oluwakemi Daniel called five witnesses and tendered exhibits that included confessional statements made to the police by the accused persons, photographs of the severed body of the deceased, medical report from Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Dane gun, locally made single barrel and one cartridge to prove the case of murder against the convicts.
Those convicted for conspiracy and attempted murder bagged five years imprisonment each except the 2nd accused person who was sentenced to 10 years.
All the accused persons spoke in their own defense through their lawyers Chris Omokhafe, Sule Longe, Busuyi Ayorinde and Emmanuel Adetifa and called no witness.