Four persons, Segun Friday, Tijani Semiu Seun, Ogunyemi Segun Olarewaju, and Adebayo Tope, found guilty of stealing a motorcycle have been sentenced to death by the Ekiti State High Court, sitting in Ado-Ekiti.
The defendants were found guilty of conspiring to commit a felony and robbing Adeleke Abiodun of his Bajaj motorcycle while bearing firearms.
The incident occurred on December 24, 2018, at Irare Village, Erinmope, in Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State, according to the charge.
The convicts, namely Segun Friday, Tijani Semiu Seun, Ogunyemi Segun Olarewaju, and Adebayo Tope, were charged under Section 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. RII, Vol. 14, and Section 1(2) (a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap. RII, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
In his testimony before the court, the victim stated, “I am a commercial motorcyclist plying Otun and Erinmope Ekiti. On the fateful day, I conveyed a lady from Otun to Erinmope Ekiti. On my way back to Otun, a man stopped me; we negotiated to take him to Irare village. I refused to go further when I discovered I was going inside the forest.
“I saw a motorcyclist pushing his bike towards us. He intervened in the argument, saying he was the one who brought the man from Ado Ekiti but ran out of petrol. He assured me of my safety, and I later agreed. He was making several phone calls while we were going.
“On our way, we bypassed a man and another one in front of me. Before I knew it, the one at my back tried to strangle me on the motorcycle. When we fell, we were dragging the bike; the one I bypassed and the other in front of me joined, and they dispossessed me of the motorcycle and ran away.
“I saw a man and his wife coming from their farm on a motorcycle. I narrated what happened to them, and they raised the alarm. Villagers came out and combed the surroundings, which led to the arrest of one of them. Thereafter, he was handed over to the police. He later led the police to the Atikankan area of Ado Ekiti where other members of the gang were arrested, but the motorcycle was nowhere to be found till today.”
To prove his case, the prosecutor, Julius Ajibare, called three witnesses and tendered the defendants’ statements as exhibits, while the defendants spoke through their counsel, Adeyinka Opaleke.
Delivering his judgment, Justice Adekunle Adeleye said, “There is evidence of a direct plot between the conspirators. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th defendants indeed took steps to achieve the agreed task of robbery.
“From the evidence placed before the court by the complainant, he has established beyond a reasonable doubt the meeting of minds of the defendants to dispossess the owner of a motorcycle.
“It is also established without doubt that the defendants took steps in achieving the agreed unlawful act of dispossessing his Bajaj motorcycle. The four defendants are found guilty in count one (conspiracy) and count two (armed robbery) as charged.”
The judge subsequently sentenced the convicts to death.