Photo: Seven Armed Robbers Sentenced To Death By Hanging For Murder In Ondo State

Seven members of a notorious armed robbery gang has been reportedly sentenced to death by hanging by the Ondo State High Court in Akure on Thursday for killing a US-based businessman, identified as Banji Adafin.

According to report, the seven armed robbers are to die by hanging after the court found them culpable for Adafin’s death after they killed him on July 4, 2017 at his Number 15 Temidire Street, Muyiwa Oni Avenue on Akure/Owo Road residence in cold blood in the presence of his wife, Abimbola, shortly after his return to Nigeria from the US for vacation.

The seven convicted persons including Blessing Ogunlade, John Omoniyi, Sodiq Babatunde, Akeem Adedayo, Oso John Omoniyi, Yomi Balogun, and Sodiq Babatunde were found guilty of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit murder and illegal possession of firearms by the court that held that the offence of the seven culprits ran contrary to the robbery and Firearms Act, laws of the Federation (2004) and the Criminal Code, laws of Ondo state (2006).

According to report, the court also sentenced Damilola Samuel, best known as 'Mama', to one year in prison for aiding in her house incriminating materials. While Miss Damilola, said to be a girlfriend of one of the culprits, Blessing Ogunlade, was also convicted for keeping two Samsung Plasma Televison sets, a Samsung Phone, a Techno Phone and electric pressing iron, that were all stolen from Adafin’s residence.

Olajiri Fadipe, a prosecutor and Department of State Services (DSS) official in charge of the murder case, who told the court that the six of the culprits were actively involved in the robbery operation, noted that the seventh culprit only supplied firearms with no registered licence to them.

The trial Judge, Justice Samuel Bola, who held that the prosecuting counsel and DSS officials had proven the case beyond all reasonable doubt, after reading the Judgement for over four hours, concluded that the seven-man gang used gun to kill the deceased after robbing him of his valuables.

Grace Olowoporokun, a prosecuting counsel who stood in for the State Attorney-General, Mr Adekola Olawoye, added that the murder case shows that Judiciary is open to real justice. In their reactions, defence counsel to the convicts, Abdulrahman Yusuf and Samuel Aiyesa, said they would appeal the judgement after a deep review.

Earlier in the court, Abimbola Adafin, wife of the deceased, while explaining how the seven robbers invaded their residence in the dead of the night said;

"I was inside the bedroom along with my late husband and daughter when I heard other occupants living with us in the house, Hannah Temitope (relative) and Deborah Petti (housemaid), suddenly scream, which forced me to rush out of the bedroom,” she said.

"By the time I came out of the room I saw that the two ladies were held at gunpoint by these armed robbers. Immediately, I panicked and ran back to the room, not knowing that more armed robbers had gained access inside the house through the kitchen.”

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