Osun court pronounces death by hanging verdict on two armed robbers


An Osun State High Court, sitting in Osogbo on Thursday sentenced two armed robbers—Wasiu Afolayan, 36 and Kola Adeyemi, 34, to death by hanging.

That was after the trial high court judge, Justice Ayo Oyebiyi established the charge preferred against them by the state and convicted the duo accordingly.

Although the condemned have the right of appeal to the Supreme Court, they have been sent to the condemned cell to await the hangman’s noose.

They would remain in the cell pending the time their death warrants would be signed by the state governor or if a higher court reverses the verdict.

BAR & BENCH WATCH reports that both Wasiu and Kola committed the crime on November 26, 2018 and December 7, 2018 at two different locations in Osogbo, the state capital, during which they not only robbed but also killed one Olaniyi Adewale with gun during one of their robbery operations.

They were not caught in November when they shot Olaniyi dead but were unfortunate on December 7, 2018 when they visited another location in Osogbo to rob.

Upon their arrest, they were charged with murder and arraigned before an Osun high court in Osogbo.

Specifically, the Osun State government arraigned the duo before the court on a four-count charge  of conspiracy, armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, and unlawful possession of arms.

The offences were said to be contrary to and punishable under section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (special provisions) Act, Cap R.11, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

But both of them pleaded not guilty to the charge, a development that made the prosecution to request for their trial date.

During trial, the state counsel, Mr. Bewaji Adeniji had told the court that on December 7, 2018, at a place near C.A.C No. 16, Oke-Onitea Area, Osogbo, Wasiu Afolayan and kola Adeyemi laid siege to the area and robbed people living in the community.

According to the prosecution, while Afolayan was arrested at the scene of the crime in Osogbo, police investigation led to the arrest of Adeyemi at Ikire through Afolayan confession.

The prosecution counsel added that the same armed robbery gang had on November 26, 2018, robbed at No. 3, Oduola, street, Igbona area, Osogbo, Osun State.

During the November 26, 2018 operation, the convicts carted away belongings of a resident and killed one Olaniyi Adewale with gun before escaping from the scene of the crime.

A bulky proof of evidence listing six witnesses for the prosecution and various exhibits were filed at the registry of the court alongside the charge.

At trial, Bewaji presented all the six witnesses to give evidence to nail the duo on each of the count and tendered several exhibits including the confessional statements made at both the Divisional Police Headquarters and at the SCID.

All the witnesses were cross-examined by the defence team before the prosecution closed its case.

When the defence was asked to open its case for the duo of Wasiu and Kola, the convicts gave evidence for themselves while the defence closed their case.

The court adjourned for judgment.

On Thursday when the case was called for judgment, the trial judge, Justice Oyebiyi reviewed the entire case and found the duo guilty of the offences they were charged with.

Specifically, the court held that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and declared the defendants guilty as charged.

Their counsel, Adesina Olaniyan thereafter pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as his clients were first offenders even though they were established to have robbed twice within 30 days.

In his judgement, the trial judge sentenced the two convicts to death by hanging.

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