From Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO
A Federal Appeal Court, Akure Division, Ondo State, southwest Nigeria, has ordered a retrial of the case of murder pressed against four men of same parent in Osun State, Southwest Nigeria.
An Osun State High court sitting in Ila-Orangun, had sentenced the four persons to death by hanging over the murder of one Bamidele Ajiboye.
The lower court presiding judge, Justice Isiaka Adeleke, pronounced the four accused persons guilty of a two-count charge of conspiracy and murder pressed against them by the state Ministry of Justice and sentenced them to death by hanging consequently.
The convicts are: Olabisi Adeniji, Adelowo Adeniji, Oladapo Adeniji and Kolawole Adeniji.
But when the four convicts approached the Appeal Court in Akure over the lower court ruling, the presiding judge, Honourable Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun dismissed the ruling of the High Court and ordered a retrial of the four appellants by another High Court Judge in Osun State.
The prosecution had told the court when the convicts were arraigned that the offences contravened Section 324 of Criminal Code Cap 34 Laws of Osun State, Nigeria 2003 and Section 319(1) Criminal Code Cap 34 Laws of Osun State, Nigeria 2003.
The convicts were charged to court on 3rd July 2006 and hearing began on 31st October, 2007.
During hearing, the state Counsel, Barrister Adekilekun Tijani, Assistant Chief State Counsel, Ministry of Justice told the court that Ajiboye was murdered in cold blood on 13th April, 2004 at Oyi Farmland, Oke-Ila, in Ifedayo Local Government area of the state over a land dispute.
But the four convicts entered into a not guilty plea and their counsel, Mr. M. O. Agboola, urged the court to commit them to bail in liberal terms, an application which was upheld by the court.