By Nofisat Marindoti
A High Court sitting in Osogbo, State of Osun presided over by Justice Kudirat Akano, has sentenced the killer of a student of Osun State University, UNIOSUN, and his accomplices to death.
A 19-year-old AbdulRafiu Zakariyahu, Yusuf Kareem, Ayuba Ibrahim, Isiaq Yusuf and AbdulKareem Adeoti, had been arraigned in connection with the killing of a 400-level student of Microbiology department of the University, Timileyin Sonibare.
The accused were arraigned on three count charges of conspiracy, murder and misconduct with the corpse of the deceased.
The offences, according to the state prosecution, contravened provisions of 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 charges of the offences purportedly committed on June 26, 2017 at Oke Baale area, Osogbo.
Delivering the judgment on Monday, Justice Akano held that, with the totality of evidence and statement of the accused, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused persons, Zakariyahu, Kareem and Ibrahim, caused the death of the deceased.
Justice Akano held that the 1st convict had admitted in his confessional statement that he killed Timileyin, while the prosecution has proved the case against the 2nd and 3rd as accomplices in the killing.
The court said there was no cogent evidence before the court that the fourth and fifth accused, Yusuf and Adeoti, were involved in the killing of the undergraduate student.
The court, however, convicted the 5th accused, Adeoti, for aiding the escape of one Yahya, who is now at large, saying “the 5th accused is the godfather of the criminal.”
“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 held.
Meanwhile, the court discharged the 4th accused who is the leader of Jafariyah, Yusuf, saying there was no evidence against him before the court.
Counsel to the 1st convict, A. A. Alayoku, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy on his client, saying he was a first time offender and very young. He said the convict had learnt his lessons.
Counsel to the 2nd, 3rd and 5th convict, Barrister Kazim Badmus, urged the court to be lenient on 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 the almost two years that the convicts have been in prison.
However, Justice Akano in his ruling, said the convicts did not show 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 should run concurrently.
The court also sentenced the 1st, 2nd and 3rd convicts to 7 years jail for conspiracy, two years for misconduct and sentenced them to death for murder.