Court Sentences Seven Men Accused Of Robbery & Murder To Death By Hanging

Seven men accused of robbery and murder of an American-based Nigerian, Banji Adafin  were on Thursday sentenced to death by hanging and life imprisonment by an Ondo state High Court sitting in Akure .

The gang were said to have invaded the home of the deceased located on plot 5 Temidire street, Muyiwa Oni Avenue along Akure\Owo expressway recently  during one of his journeys to Nigeria and  killed him in cold blood after robbing him of valuable properties  in the presence of his wife and family members.

The  convicted person  icluding Jimoh Sodiq a.k.a Akamo, Blessing Ogunlade, Yomi Balogun a.k.a Regal, Oluwaseun Oluwalola a.k.a Iyan, Akeem Adedayo, Oso John Omoniyi a.k.a Bosco and Sodiq Babatunde were found guilty of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit murder and for illegal possession of firearms.

Delivering the judgement that lasted four hours,  Justice Samuel Bola  held that the prosecuting counsel and officials of the Department of state services, DSS had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the seven young men robbed him using a  gun to kill him  at his home on Owo expressway in Akure on 4th of July last year when he came to Nigeria for a vacation.

Justice Bola said the offenses are contrary to the robbery and Firearms Act, laws of the Federation (2004) and the Criminal Code, laws of Ondo state (2006).

The Court also sentenced to one-year imprisonment, the eighth offender, Damilola Samuel a.k.a Mama who was the girlfriend of one of the convicts for allegedly aiding and keeping incriminating materials.

Counsels to the convicted persons, Abdulrahman Yusuf and Samuel Aiyesa, said the Judgement would be challenged at the Court of Appeal after thorough reviewing.

Also reacting to the judgement, government’s lawyer, Grace Olowoporokun who represented the state Attorney General, Mr Adekola Olawoye commended the verdict as  justice for the murdered U.S. based man.

According to the charge sheet, the armed robbers that invaded the No. 5 Temidire street, Muyiwa Oni Avenue along Akure\Owo expressway residence of One Banji Adafin who recently travelled back from an overseas trip had killed him in cold blood in the presence of his wife and then carted away their properties.

The wife of the deceased, Abimbola Adafin  narrated how the armed robbers invaded their residence on that fateful black day.

According to her, she was inside their bedroom along with their husband and daughter when she heard other occupant living together with their family; one Hannah Temitope (a relative) and Deborah Petti (a housemaid) suddenly scream  which made her rush out of her bedroom to the living room.

She told the court that when she  got to the sitting room, she saw the two women  held at gunpoint by two armed robbers.

She said in  panic she  ran back to her room but unknown to her, the armed robbers had gained access inside the house through the kitchen.

Speaking further she said the house girl  later told her  that she was washing plates inside the kitchen when she saw “a black, short gunman” dressed in a jean and a vintage shirt standing behind her.

She said  the house girl screamed for help but was threatened to keep quiet or else she would be shot and was ordered to go flat on the ground with relative while some of  the armed robbers beat the women with an iron rod.

Items carted away include ; 2 Samsung Plasma Television sets,  Samsung phone, one techno phone and electric pressing iron.

The prosecutor, DSS official, Olajiri Fadipe, told the court that while  six of them were actively involved in the armed robbery, the seventh accused person had supplied the firearms which was without  registered license  and she was  the female among them.

The female , Damilola Samuel a.k.a Mama was alleged to have aided in removing the plasma television, laptops and other incriminating materials suspecting to be stolen goods from the residence of the 2nd defendant, Blessing Ogunlade.
Justice Bola said the punishments would run concurrently.