By Abimbola Ogunnaike
An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti, the state capital has sentenced three persons: Omotayo Deji, 23; Chidiebere Ifeanyin, 25; and Bolaji Usman, 28; to death by hanging for conspiracy and armed robbery.
The defendants were arraigned before Justice Bamidele Omotoso on January 21, 2020, on four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and armed robbery.
The charge reads that the defendants on “May 6, 2019, at Aba Erinfun, Federal Polytechnic Road, Ado Ekiti in Ado Ekiti Judicial Division did conspire to commit a felony, to wit; armed robbery and robbed Ademiloye Stephen, Olokuntoye Temitope and Ajayi Kolade of their belongings, such as, phones, laptop computer, sandals, phone chargers and power banks valued at N186,000, as at the time of the robbery, they were armed with cutlass and wooden plank.”
According to the charges, the offences are contrary to Sections 6 (b), 1 (2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. RII, Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
In his statement to the police, one of the victims said, “We were sleeping in our room around 2:30 a.m., suddenly, I heard a loud sound on the door, immediately, we woke up, I saw the defendants armed with cutlasses and wooden planks.
“Immediately, they broke the electric bulb with the plank in their hand, they commanded us to lay face down and bring out all our money, we told them, we are students and we don’t have money, they started beating us with the stick and cutlass.
“Thereafter, they collected our phones, laptops, chargers, sandals, power banks and other items I could not remember and ran away”.
The prosecutor, Kunle-Shina Adeyemo, in other to prove his case, called one witness and tendered statements of the victims and defendants, among others, as exhibits.
The defendants spoke in their own defence through their counsels, they called no witness.
In his judgment, Justice Omotoso said, “I am of the strong opinion that the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt the offence of armed robbery against the defendants. They are hereby found guilty as charged and convicted for the offence of armed robbery.
“The sentence of the court upon you: Omotayo Deji, Chidiebere Ifeanyin, and Bolaji Usman is that you be hanged by the neck until you are dead, and may the Lord have mercy on your souls.”