A High Court of Lagos State sitting in Ikeja has sentenced three persons to death by hanging by the neck till death. The convicts included a student who doubles as a commercial motorcyclist, Ganiyu Hassan, an aluminium worker, Wasiu Arepo, and a driver, Oluwaseun Idowu.
The court presided by Justice Lateef Lawal- Akapo found the convict guilty on a four count charge of conspiracy, armed robbery and murder contrary to Section 402 subsection 2(a) of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State, 2011, and Section 319 subsection 1(a) of Criminal Code Law of Lagos State, 2011.
According to the prosecutor, Mrs. Aderonke Akande, the convicts committed the offence on February 5, 2011 at Aleke village, Imota at 2 a.m.
The convicts were said to have stormed the house of their victims, one Mrs Adijatu Bakare and her husband, Abubakar. It was said that on gaining entry into the residence of their victims, they demanded from the husband to produce the money he withdrew from the bank a day before.
During their operation, one of the convicts, Arepo, shot Abubakar in the chest after which they ransacked the house and carted away N15,000 cash and other valuables.
Their victim, Abubakar was left in the pool of his blood. He was reported to have died on his way to the hospital.
Nemesis however caught up with the convicts as they were caught about two hours after the incident by the vigilante group in a nearby community where they lived and had gone to hide.
The wife of the victim reported the matter at Imota police station and was able to identify one of the convicts whom she had seen during the robbery operation.
However, during the trial, the convicts had pleaded not guilty and denied involvement in the incident. They claimed that they were at home on the night of the incident.But in his judgement, Justice Lawal-Akapo said the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the convicts committed the crime.
"The three accused, agreeing that they slept in the same room on the day of the incident, showed they know each other and were arrested at the same place at 4 a.m. on the day of the incident. They did not prove that they were somewhere else when the incident happened . The prosecution had proved beyond doubt the offence of conspiracy and murder against the accused. They are therefore sentenced to death by hanging," the judge said.