HomeCourt room newsSupreme Court Upholds death Sentence for Man Over Kidnap, Murder of Infant

Supreme Court Upholds death Sentence for Man Over Kidnap, Murder of Infant

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The Supreme Court has affirmed the sentencing of a man, Theophilus Friday to death by hanging for his involvement in the kidnap, murder and mutilation of a year-and-a-half-old girl, Rachael Akingboye.

In a judgment on Friday, February 23, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court was unanimous in dismissing the appeal filed by Friday.

Justice Tijjani Abubakar, in the lead judgment on the appeal, marked: SC/CR/1462/2022 held that the appeal was without merit.

Justice Abubakar affirmed the judgment of the Court Appeal, which upheld the March 20, 2014 decision of the High Court of Ondo State, convicting and sentencing Friday and two others – Olusegun Obaro and Jonah Lase to death by hanging.

According to the prosecution, Obaro and Lase kidnapped the victim while she was sleeping beside her mother on the night of June 17, 2011, in their home at Ikorigho in Igbokoda, Ilaje local government area of Ondo state.

Obaro and Lase later handed the kidnapped child to Friday, who was said to have sent them.

Upon discovering her child missing, the mother raised the alarm. After a search was conducted, the victim’s mutilated corpse was later found dumped within the vicinity of her mother’s house.

It was discovered that her right ear, right eye, right breast and right part of her scalp were removed.

Obaro, Lase and Friday were subsequently apprehended by residents of the community, who handed them over to police personnel at the Igbokoda Police Station.

After the police investigation, the three were arraigned before the High Court of Ondo State in Akure on a two-count charge of kidnapping and murder.

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They were charged under Section 3 of the Ondo State Anti-Kidnapping and Abduction Law 2010 for the offence of kidnapping and murder, under Section 316 and punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code Laws of Ondo State.

They pleaded not guilty during their arraignment, following which a trial was conducted.

In his judgment on March 20, 2014, Justice Olusegun Odusola of the High Court of Ondo State held that the totality of the evidence before the court showed that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

Justice Odusola further held the prosecution established that the three defendants were responsible for the death of the deceased.

The judge found the three guilty and convicted them.

He convicted Obaro and Lase on the offences of kidnapping and murder, while Friday was convicted solely on the offence of murder.

The judge said: “The offences for which the accused were charged are strict liability offences.

“Death penalty would be the punishment for each of the counts.

“Having found the 1st and 2nd accused guilty of both counts, the 3rd accused is guilty of murder.

“In sum, I hereby sentence you Olusegun Obaro, Jonah Lase and Theophilus Friday to death by hanging.”

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