Ritualists Sentenced To Death By Hanging For Using Undergraduate For Money Ritual In Oke Baale, Osogbo Osun State
An Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, yesterday sentenced to death, the killers of a 400 level Microbiology student of Osun State University, Timilehin Sonibare.
Justice Kudirat Akano ruled that the first accused, 19-year-old AbdulRafiu Zakariyahu and his accomplices, second and third accused persons, Yusuf Kareem and Ayuba Ibrahim, would die by hanging.
The fourth accused, Isiaq Yussuf, the leader of a group, Jafariyah, was discharged and acquitted for lack of evidence against him.
The judge sentenced the fifth accused person, AbdulKareem Adeoti, to seven years imprisonment.
The accused were arraigned on a three-count charge of conspiracy, murder and misconduct with the body.
The prosecutor said the offences contravened 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 the offences allegedly committed on June 26, 2017 at Oke Baale, Osogbo.
Justice Akano held that with the evidence and statement of the accused, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused persons, Zakariyahu, Kareem and Ibrahim, caused the death of the deceased.
She held that the 1st convict had admitted in his confessional statement that he killed Timilehin, while the prosecution had proved the case against the 2nd and 3rd as accomplices in the killing.
Justice Akano ruled that there was no cogent evidence before the court that the fourth and fifth accused, Yusuf and Adeoti, involved in the killing of the undergraduate.
She, however, convicted the 5th accused, Adeoti, for aiding the escape of one Yahya, now at large, saying: “The 5th accused is the godfather of the criminal.”
The judge added: “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 discharged the 4th accused, Yusuf, saying there was no evidence against him before the court.
Counsel to the 1st convict, A. A. Alayoku, prayed the court to be merciful to his client, saying he is a first offender and very young.
He said the convict had learnt his lesson while in prison.
Counsel to the 2nd, 3rd and 5th convict, Mr. Kazim Badmus, urged the court to be lenient with the convicts.
He said the 2nd and 3rd convicts are young and can be useful to the society.
The counsel told the court that the 5th accused was aged and was depended upon by many children and old people, praying the court to consider almost two years the convicts had been in prison.
But Justice Akano said the convicts did not show any mercy to the deceased when they killed him with a pestle, cut his head and roasted it with intent to use it for ritual.
She thereby sentenced the 5th accused to two years imprisonment, saying the jail term would run concurrently.
The judge also sentenced the 1st, 2nd and 3rd convicts to seven years jail for conspiracy, two years for misconduct and sentenced them to death for murder.