From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
An Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti has sentenced Makinde Kola and Bika Haruna to death by hanging.
Six-count charges bordering on conspiracy, armed robbery, rape and kidnapping were preferred against the defendants before Justice Olalekan Olatawura on February 28.
The charge reads that Makinde Kola (41) and Haruna Bika (30) on the 6th of October, 2021 at Idi Mango Camp, Ilasa Ekiti within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did rob Taiwo Lawrence Oni, Mohammed Ayomide of their phones and Adejuwon Gbenga of a sum of N31,000.
On the same date and place did kidnap one Adejuwon Daramola and also raped a 19- year-old mother of five months old baby.
At the time of committing these offences you were armed with a cutlass and gun contrary to Sections 516, and 401 (2) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. C16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2012 also Section 2 (2) of the Ekiti State Gender Based Violence (Prohibition) Law, 2019 and Section 3 (a) of the Kidnap and Terrorism (Prohibition) Laws of Ekiti State, 2015.
In their separate statements to the Police, one of the victims said, I was sleeping around 1:00 a.m., I heard a very loud bang at my door, when I woke up, I saw somebody pointing a gun at me from the window, he ordered me to open the door and I did, when they entered, my wife and I were beaten with a cutlass, they searched everywhere in our room and took away a sum of N31, 000 I collected from a business centre in the afternoon, thereafter, they took my daughter outside and wanted to rape her but she resisted them and was shouting profusely, she was ordered to sit with those already captured outside.
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Thereafter, Adejuwon Daramola was kidnapped by them and later demanded a N5 million ransom.
Another victim, a 19 -year-old mother of a five-month-old baby said, I heard one of my neighbours shouting, thief, thief, I was afraid, I carried my baby, before taken any step, they entered our house, they asked of my neighbour, I told them I did not see him, they collected the baby from me, they removed my pant and had sexual intercourse with me, she concluded.
The defendants were later arrested by the vigilantes in the community, they were recognized and identified by their faces and cap forgotten at one of the crime scenes.
To prove his case, the prosecutor, Barrister Olasanmi Oluwaseun called seven witnesses and tendered the defendants’ statements and cap as exhibits.
The defendants spoke through their counsels, Iyanu Olumuagun and J.0. Olajide, they called one witness.
In his judgment, Justice Olalekan Olatawura said, from the above-proved facts, it can be rightly inferred in my own view and I so do, that there was consensus and common intention between the defendants and other suspects at large to commit unlawful acts to wit; Armed Robbery and Kidnapping.
In conclusion, the lone issue for determination is resolved against the defendants and consequent thereupon, I find the defendants guilty in counts 1 (Conspiracy), 2 (Armed Robbery), 3 (Armed Robbery) and 6 (Kidnapping) as charged, they are discharged and acquitted in counts 4 and 5.
Count 1 (Conspiracy) the defendants are sentenced to seven years imprisonment, Counts 2&3 (Armed Robbery) the defendants are sentenced to death and be hanged by the neck until they be dead, may God have mercy on your souls, Count 6 (Kidnapping) the defendants are sentenced to life imprisonment.
The sentences are to run concurrently, the judge ruled.