An Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Monday sentenced two men and two women to death by hanging after being found guilty of murder.
The convicts are Rashidat Abdul (f) 37, Oluwatosin Akarakiri (m) 32, Abdulrasheed Mutairu (m) 22 and Iyoriochile Eromoina (f) 18 to death by hanging.
The quartet conspired and unlawfully killed a 70-year-old man, Samuel Oloyede, on 5th April, 2017 in Odo Owa Ekiti, Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Justice Oluwatoyin Abodunde held that the prosecution has proved the case of murder against the convicts beyond the reasonable doubt.
The judge ruled that the convicts by killing the deceased contravened Section 316 Criminal Code, Cap C 16, Laws of Ekiti State of Nigeria 2012 and Section 301(2) (2) of Ekiti State Criminal Justice Law 2014.
Justice Abodunde held: “I am persuaded that in the instant case, prosecution have proved the ingredients of murder beyond reasonable doubt by convincing and compelling qualitative unbroken circumstantial evidence and I so hold”.
“The sentence of the court upon the four accused persons, is that you be hanged by the neck until you be dead and may God have mercy on your souls.”
They were first arraigned on 12th February, 2018 when the charge was read and interpreted to them but pleaded not guilty.
According to the witnesses, the deceased was a pensioner who operated a brothel in his personal house as a means of livelihood where all the accused persons also lived.
There was a misunderstanding between the deceased and accused persons on payments and sharing formula.
They testified further that the accused persons vacated the premises living the deceased missing and later found his dead body on the 4th day under the heap of cloths with his hands tied.
The matter was reported at the palace and later at Ijero Police Station.
To prove his case, the prosecutor, Oluwatoyin Marcus called 12 witnesses including the Investigating Police Officer (IPO) and the medical personnel who conducted postmortem examination on the cause of the deceased’s death.
Exhibits tendered include statements of the accused, statements of the witnesses, photographs of the deceased dead body and medical report.
The accused persons in their defence called no witness throughout the trial.