A Kwara State High Court, sitting in Ilorin, has sentenced the killers of Olajide Blessing Omowumi, a 300-level student of the University of Ilorin, to death by hanging.
Blessing was raped and murdered brutally in June last year by assailants at her residence in the Tanke area of the Ilorin metropolis. The trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Yusuf, convicted the suspects, AbdulAzeez Ismail and Ajala Moses Oluwatimileyin, aka Jacklord. They were convicted for the offences of homicide and armed robbery and sentenced to death by hanging.
The deceased, said to be staying with her elder sister in the Tanke area until her death, was a student of the Agricultural Science Department. She hailed from the Oke-Opin community, Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The defendants were taken before the court by the Kwara State government in suit No KWS/33c/c/2021 on an 11-count charge bordering on armed robbery, illegal possession of firearms and rape.
Delivering his judgment, which lasted about four and half hours, Justice Ibrahim Yusuf also convicted Olayemi Timileyin Omogbolahan (3rd defendant) of rape and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
“I direct you Abdulazeez Ismail and Ajala Oluwatimileyin should be hanged by the neck until you’re pronounced dead,” the judge pronounced.
According to the judgment, the lifeless body of the deceased was found in the afternoon time of the day with bruises all over her body, her hands tied to the back, and a towel covering her face.
The judge added that the confessional statement, which could be relied upon based on law, revealed that the deceased struggled with the killers until she was pushed and fell. At the same time, the 1st and 3rd convicts held her down for the 2nd convict to perpetrate the heinous crime of rape.
He said the deceased was raped to death on June 2, 2021, at her guardian’s residence in the Tanke area of Ilorin, and a piece of paper was dropped on her chest with a message containing: ‘No forgiveness for Unilorin students.
Justice Yusuf found AbdulKarim Shuaib (4th defendant) and Kareem Oshioyemi Rasheed (5th defendant) guilty of conspiracy to steal and steal money in the account of the deceased and accordingly sentenced them to three years imprisonment to run concurrently commencing from the day of their arrest.
He, however, discharged and acquitted Abdullateef AbdulRahman, David Bashir Adebayo and Akande Taiye Oladoja, the 6th to 8th defendants, being the receivers of stolen items.
In his reaction, former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Salman Jawondo (SAN), the state counsel when the case commenced, said he was issued a fiat to conclude the case.
Jawondo hailed the judgment, adding: “It went well. The irony of it is that those that were involved are very young men. It is quite unfortunate. That goes to say that we have to work on our future in this country.”
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