AN Akure High Court has sentenced three men to death by hanging over alleged kidnapping and murder of a one and half-year-old infant, identified as Rachael Akingboye. The convicts are Olusegun Obaro; Jonah Lase and Theophilus Friday.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said the first and second accused persons were guilty of kidnapping and murder, while the third accused person was only guilty of murder.
The three were facing a two-count charge of kidnapping and murdering Akingboye “contrary to and punishable under Section 3 of the Ondo State Anti-Kidnapping and Abduction Law 2010 and murder contrary to Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code Laws of Ondo State.”
The accused were said to have kidnapped the deceased from her parent’s residence at Ikorigho in Igbokoda in the night of June 17, 2011. After the incident, the corpse of the baby was said to have been found near the residence of the parents with her right eye, right ear, right breast and the right part of her scalp removed.
The accused were said to have pleaded not guilty to the charges at the commencement of the trial.
However, Justice Odusola, in his judgment, submitted that the totality of the evidence before him showed that the prosecution had proved that the three accused persons were responsible for the death of the deceased.
He said the prosecution had been able to prove its case against the defendants and should be ready to face the consequences of their action.
According to him, “The offences for which the accused were charged are strict liability offences. Death penalty is the punishment for each of the counts. Having found the 1st and 2nd accused guilty of both counts, the 3rd accused is guilty of murder. “In summary, I hereby sentence Olusegun Obaro, Jonah Lase and Theophilus Friday to death by hanging.”