An Osun State high court, sitting in Osogbo, the state capital yesterday sentenced the killers of a student of Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Timileyin Sonibare to death.
A 19-year-old AbdulRafiu Zakariyahu, Yusuf Kareem, Ayuba Ibrahim, Isiaq Yusuf and AbdulKareem Adeoti, was arraigned in connection with the murder of the 400 level student of Microbiology department of the university for ritual.
The accused were standing trial on a three -count charge of conspiracy, murder and misconduct with the body of the deceased.
The offences, according to the state prosecutor, contravened provisions of sections 516, 319(1) and 519 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, Vol 11, laws of Osun State, 2002.
They had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and offences purportedly committed on June 26, 2017 at Oke Baale area, Osogbo.
Delivering the judgment on Monday, Justice Kudirat Akano held that, with the totality of evidence and statement of the accused, the first, second and third accused persons, Zakariyahu, Kareem and Ibrahim, caused the death of the deceased.
Justice Akano held that the first convict had admitted in his confessional statement that he killed Timileyin, while the prosecution has proved the case against the second and third as accomplices in the killing.
The court said there was no cogent evidence before the court that the fourth and fifth accused, Yusuf and Adeoti were involved in the killing of the undergraduate student.
The court, however, convicted the fifth accused, Adeoti, for aiding the escape of one Yahya, who is now at large, saying that, “the fifth accused is the godfather of the criminal.
“He did not make effort to report to the police after five days he was aware of the killing. He assisted Yahya to escape,” the court held.
Meanwhile, the court discharged the fourth accused, Yusuf, who is the leader of Jafariyah, saying there was no evidence against him before the court.
Counsel to the first convict, A. A. Alayoku, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy on his client, saying he is a first offender and very young. He said the convict has learnt his lessons since he was in prison.
Counsel to the second, third and fifth convict, Mr. Kazim Badmus, urged the court to be lenient on the convicts. He said the second and third convicts are young and can be useful to the society.
The Counsel told the court that the fifth accused was aged and was depended upon by many children and old people, praying the court to consider almost two years that the convicts have been in prison.
But, Justice Akano said the convicts did not show any mercy to the deceased when they killed him with pestle, cut his head and roasted it with intent to use it for ritual.
She thereby sentenced the fifth accused to two years imprisonment, saying the jail term should run concurrently.
The court also sentenced the first, second and third convicts to 7 years jail for conspiracy, two years for misconduct and sentenced them to death for murder.
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