Court Sentences Vigilante Men To 21 Years Imprisonment Over Murder

By Nofisat Adeoye

A High Court Sitting in Ilesa, State of Osun presided over by Justice Isiaka Adeleke, has convicted and sentenced two men to 21 years imprisonment without an option of fine over murder.

The convicts included Olabisi Olajuwon 42 and Kayode Opeolu 55.

The duo were arraigned before the High Court on three count charge of conspiracy, attempted murder and murder which are contrary to sections 324, 320 and 319 of the Criminal Code 34, volume II, Laws of Osun of Nigeria.

The prosecution team from the State Ministry of Justice led by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Ajibola Basiru appeared along with Chief State Counsel Rachel Ojimi (Mrs).

Dr. Ajibola had earlier told the court that the convicts committed the crime on 24th of September, 2006. The convicts claimed to be Vigilantes and stopped the motorcycle carrying one Omotayo Ogunlaja, Bashiru Saheed and Oluwole Segun who were all students of the Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, on their way to Ada.

The duo accused Omotayo Ogunlaja as one of the cultists terrorising the community and the three students were driven in a van to a bush along Eripa, Otan-Ayegbaju road where their hands were tied behind them. Later, each of the students were shot. Omotayo pretended to be dead and he was pushed into a nearby ditch.

The other two were shot dead and one of them was beheaded. The assailants then swore to an oath not to reveal the secret and if caught not to mention anyone’s name.

In the early hours of 25th, September 2006, Omotayo crawled out of the dicth and was assisted to the hospital where he volunteered his statement to the Police.

His statement led to the arrest of the convicts who also volunteered their confessional statements.

Prosecuting counsels has called five (5) witnesses to testify in the Court during the trial.

In the course of trial, Wemimo Adewale, the first accused person died and his name was struck out from the charge.

Counsel to the Convicts, Julius Akhigbe Esquire, plead to court to temper judgement with mercy because his Clients have regretted their actions.

In his judgement, Justice Adeleke stated that the prosecution counsel has proof the beyond reasonable doubt and from evidence before the Court, he is satisfied and hereby sentenced each of the convicts to 21 imprisonment beginning from 20th December, 2017.

Vigilantes Accused Of Killing Brothers

Some members of a vigilante group have been accused of killing two brothers in  Kakangi district, Birnin Gwari local government area of the state. The deceased younger brother, Shehu Rankadede said the incident occurred on Friday last week.

Narrating the incident, he said his slained brothers as Oli Lafia and Rankadede Nana, left home and went to Biski village to perform Juma’at prayers last week Friday but did not return home.

According to Rankadede; “Since then we did not see them again. When we started looking for them, we gathered that some vigilantes arrested them.

‘We reported the incident to the security. The security started combing everywhere and discovered the decomposed bodies of my two brothers in the bush”

“We are appealing and calling on Kaduna State government and security agencies to arrest the suspects and bring them to justice without delay.

‘Our brothers are not criminals, we beg Governor Nasir El-Rufai to assist in bringing those behind this barbaric act to justice” he said.

When contacted, the police Image maker of the state Command, ASP Usman Aliyu, said ‘we are yet to be briefed by the DPO in charge of the area.

‘Please help by telling them to report the incident to the Divisional Police in Birnin Gwari so that investigation will commence” he said.